AAMEG STAND VIGILANT WITH MINING PEERS FOLLOWING BURKINA FASO ATTACKS
The Australia-Africa Minerals & Energy Group (AAMEG) provides the following update on the security incident that occurred in the north-west of Burkina Faso on 7 November 2019.
The tragic event involved the loss of life of employees, civilians and mining peers employed by Canadian and Australian-owned companies with operations in the far north-east of the country. We send our sincere condolences to those impacted and are continuing to work with member companies and the local Authorities to confirm the details and provide guidance, while keeping Australian Government representatives on the ground in Burkina Faso informed.
“AAMEG plays an important role in maintaining tactical relationships between Australia and Africa, frequently contributing where DFAT has limitations. The coming week will see us assembling a Crisis and Security Working Group from our headquarters in Perth, Western Australia to facilitate the sharing of intelligence and focused on minimising risks for our member companies operating in the region,” commented William Witham, AAMEG’s CEO.
Like Australia, Burkina Faso has abundant natural resources. With 14 gold mines in production, as well as approximately 20 Australian companies in various stages of exploration and development, the country remains a highly attractive region for investment.
“Australian companies genuinely want to see Burkina Faso build a strong and sustainable mining sector. With a positive gold climate and considered one of West Africa’s best-known underexplored gold regions with a fantastic population, the country is brimming with potential. We understand that all of our member companies are continuing to operate, with assets based in the centre and in the south-west of the country”, Witham said.
While the situation in Burkina Faso has worsened since 2016, new security threats to operations in the far north-east of the country have increased in tempo with the infiltration of Islamic and al Qaeda linked militants from strongholds in northern Mali.
“This shocking attack on our mining peers last week just highlights the challenges that international companies are undertaking in developing legitimate and socially responsible mining operations that have the potential to achieve growth and prosperity for all. We are proud of our Australian member companies who show unwavering determination to drive positive economic outcomes for both communities and shareholders in West Africa, and I am confident that their investment in Burkina Faso will press ahead with a heightened vigilance on security,” concluded Witham.
To learn more about the role of AAMEG or join the Crisis and Security Working Group visit: www.aameg.org
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Founded in May 2011, the Australia-Africa Minerals & Energy Group (AAMEG) is the peak body representing Australian companies engaged in the development of Africa’s resource industry. AAMEG provides a forum for members to network and share operational experience; to advocate at an industry level on behalf of members; and to assist member companies to engage with Australian and African governments and other relevant institutions and organisations.