Artisanal Gold Council Statement on Burkina Faso Mine Collapse

Ryan Painter, Communications and Media Relations Specialist

VICTORIA, BC – Kevin Telmer, Executive Director of the Artisanal Gold Council, released the following statement upon learning about a mine collapse in Burkina Faso:

“All of us at the Artisanal Gold Council were saddened to learn about the deaths of nine artisanal gold miners in Burkina Faso’s Tuy province yesterday. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of those who were killed in this accident.”

“10 million people around the world work in the artisanal gold mining sector and another 90 million are directly supported by this work. A loss of even one life is a tragedy and has seismic impacts on the communities and families that benefit from the arduous and often unrecognized work that artisanal gold miners undertake in order to lift their families and communities out of poverty.”

“Accidents of this nature are unfortunately not uncommon in this sector, but we are working hard to change this. All who work in the field supporting artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) must strive to improve practices and have artisanal miners recognized for who they are – hard-working people that deserve support. We need to continue to work with local and national governments, and international organizations, to ensure proper practices and processes are put in place to keep miners safe. A formalized and professionalized ASGM sector will help keep miners safe while helping to elevate the socioeconomic well-being of miners and their communities, as well as ensuring that environmentally sound practices can become the norm in the field.”