Short but potentially critical item for the gold sector: the collapse of the government of Burkina Faso.
The West African nation dissolved its parliament yesterday. Following violent protests in the capital of Ouagadougou.
Demonstrators descended on the city’s downtown, in reaction to President Blaise Compaore attempting to extend his term in office. Compaore has been in power since 1987, and had been seeking to amend the constitution to allow him to seek another term once his mandate runs out next year.
Protestors reportedly burned buildings, including government offices and the country’s parliament building itself. Prompting the standing government to dissolve parliament and promise dialogue in order to resolve the situation.
But the violence is reportedly continuing, as Compaore refuses to resign as President–one of the key demands from dissidents. Instead, he has said he will stay on through next year, although he has agreed not to seek additional time in office. Some emerging reports suggest the military may remove him by force.
In addition to the obvious political and human toll, these developments could impact upon the gold sector. Given that Burkina Faso ranks as one of the top-five bullion producers in Africa (number three or four, depending on which statistics you believe)–and a key location for a number of development projects currently in process.
Reports right now suggest that areas outside the capital are not being overly affected by the political protests. Meaning that mining operations should be able to carry on for the time being.
It will be worth watching to see whether problems flare up in other parts of the country–potentially impacting production here.
Mining operations are largely located north of the capital city. Watch for news on protests spreading into these areas.