Burkina Faso: Global Gold Expansion and Local Terrains



This chapter analyses how global mining capital arrived in Burkina Faso and how it touched ground, focusing on the way it articulates with artisanal mining and affects local community relations more broadly. It shows how gold mining “crystallizations” evolve throughout the mining cycle by looking at the interplay between, on the one hand, structural features of the projects of junior exploration companies and major gold producers and, on the other, characteristics of the local circumstances in which mining companies seek to operate. To this end, the chapter addresses questions such as: What pattern can be identified to the arrival of junior companies and the promises made to local communities? And, in addition, how do structural features of takeovers and mine extensions affect company and community relations in later stages of the mine-life? In the second part, these mining dynamics are situated in the wider political context of Burkina Faso. It focuses on the period after the ousting of former president Blaise Compaore and the explosive place of gold mining in the current crisis. Against the background of political change, this chapter discerns connections between the gold mining terrain and the predicament of violent precarity that currently engulfs Burkina Faso.


LSM-ASGM relations Mining crystallizations Mining cycle Gold mining and violent precarity 


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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of LeidenLeidenThe Netherlands

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