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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Gold Occurrences in Burkina Faso

Map of Burkina Faso  -  CIA

In the past 40 years there has been a great deal of interest in gold mining in Burkina Faso. This is a country that is very geologically rich with the Poura region alone accounting for over 25 tonnes gold. As of 2003 the government brought about a new Mining act and immediately after there were more than 30 companies that have undertaken exploration projects in the country. They also created five new mines that are on the point of full production.

As demonstrated by the Abitibi region of Canada some of the richest gold mines in the world are located on greenstone belts.  In Burkina Faso greenstone belts cover about 3,000,000 km² of West Africa the Burkina Faso accounted for approximately 21% of these greenstone exposures. There are about 13 international mining companies that are active in this area now. .

As many as 13 international mining companies are working in the country mainly in the Greenstone belts. These belts account for over 21% of West Africa's Greenstone belt exposures that house on the world's most prolific gold mines. Some of these mines are capable of producing over 100 thousand ounces of gold per year. Much of this gold is produced by the heap leaching process and probably accounts to more than 1,000,000 ounces per year. Although some of these are producing mines, more of them are exploration projects that have been ongoing for some time.

All of the United Nations development program and Burkina Faso indicates that the early Proterozoic (Birrimian) Greenstone belts located at Boromo and Hound consists of steeply dipping volcanic and volcano-sedimentary units that have been intruded by the Eburnean granitoids there about 2 billion years old that have undergone incipient to low grade greenschist metamorphism. Many of the former gold prospects and mines are found in the Greenstone belts including the spell Poura vein gold deposit and the Dossi shear zone prospects. Much of gold that is discovered is associated with scheelite, calcium tungstate that is an ore for the metal tungsten.

Gold mining is one of the newest stories in Burkina Faso in recent years where the gold mining industry has been developing apparently inexhaustible resources.  There are many Australian companies that are already there searching for gold.  Many are finding it.

Most of the primary gold deposits are derived from metamorphic rocks that were developed from auriferous rocks that were eroded away long before the placer deposits bearing them were metamorphosed in the older volcanic and volcano=sedimentary rocks.  In this they are similar to the rocks found in the Witwatersrand district of South Africa and the Abitibi greenstone belts of Canada.


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