MS Risk Blog

Security Alert – Houndé, Burkina Faso

Posted on in Burkina Faso title_rule

Unconfirmed reporting indicates that protests erupted between miners and gold mine workers at Canadian group Endeavor Mining’s Houndé Gold Operation. Tensions have been on the rise in the area since the morning of Tuesday 17 May.  Local reports claim that artisanal gold miners are apparently blaming mine officials for having monopolized their sites. According to local reporting, which remains unverified, on 16 May officials moved in to clear artisanal gold miners from the site around the mine, a move that resulted in them storming the mine and setting fire to its facilities. While these reports remain unverified, compelling video is now circulating suggesting that some sort of a breach of the mine may have occurred. The tensions have impacted a number of services in the city of Houndé, including the mayor’s office, schools and places of commerce which as of 17 May are closed. Smoke has also been seen rising from the mine, with reports indicating that several staff vehicles were set on fire by artisanal gold miners in the area. Security officials at the mine were apparently unable to stop the large crowd from entering the mining site.

The Houndé Gold Mine is located in southwestern Burkina Faso, in Houndé, in the province of Tuy in the Hauts-Bassins region. It is situated about 100 km east-northeast of Bobo-Dioulasso along the Route Nationale N1 to Ouagadougou.

This situation in Houndé is developing and MS Risk is closely monitoring the situation on the ground and we will confirm or deny the situation once the information is clarified. Companies with convoy moves on main routes west of Ouagadougou are advised to verify the status of their drivers and should assess routes to ensure that they remain accessible for the rest of the day. Likewise companies should be aware of the possibility of similar tensions rising at other industrial mining sites around the country.