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Burkina Buys Gold to Bolster Reserves

FILE: Rosalie Guiro Kulga, 30, excavator-conductor, poses for a photograph beside her engine at the gold mine site in Hounde, Burkina Faso February 11, 2020

Endeavour Mining has sold 200 kilograms of gold from its Mana mine in Burkina Faso to the West African country's government, the company has told Reuters.

Burkina Faso's energy and mines ministry issued a statement on Tuesday saying it had "commandeered" 200 kilograms of gold from the Mana mine for "public necessity."

"Endeavour confirms that it has signed a sales contract for 200kgm of gold to the Burkina Faso government at current market prices," the company stated.

"This sale is in line with the country's Mining Code which stipulates that it may acquire gold directly from mining companies, in exceptional circumstances for reasons of public necessity, subject to fair and pre-agreed terms," it added.

The UK-headquartered multinational is the biggest gold miner in Burkina Faso, which is funding a battle against a rampant jihadist insurgency that spurred two military coups last year.

Gold is a universal means of purchasing foreign currency to shore up reserves.

Burkina Faso's military leader Ibrahim Traore, who seized power at the end of September, has increased the security budget, and set up a "patriotic support fund" to raise money for the mass recruitment of volunteer auxiliaries to support the army.

The government spokesman did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.