Gaining access to a globally coveted mining resource: A case study in Burkina Faso

  • Mégret Q
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The last 10 years or so have seen a considerable influx of West African migrant gold-seekers into the south-west region of Burkina Faso. The modern non-industrial extraction of gold is widespread and at present accounts for a vast network of itinerant mine workings dispersed at many sites in the region. This process of settlement is taking place as pressure exerted during the 1990s by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund has forced the State of Burkina Faso to liberalise the mining sector by opening up the country to foreign investors. An international mining company now holds the prospecting permit for Kampti III, located near the departmental capital of the same name. The permit, which covers 250 km², takes in a large part of the land also occupied by local communities and gold-seekers. In this context, a number of different stakeholders are attempting to redefine, often on a case-by-case basis and drawing on varied sources of legitimacy, ways of gaining access to the land and ownership of the mining wealth within it. This paper uses frontier theory to describe the challenges driving a complex and constantly evolving field of social, economic, and political competition. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

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  • Quentin Mégret

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