The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, EITI has indicated that the fortune of Burkina Faso in gold export has dropped in the past few years.
EITI noted in its report that Burkina Fasoâ€™s gold production reached nearly 33 tons in 2013, up 9per cent from the previous year, and over 20 times the countryâ€™s total gold production in 2006.
It maintained that this massive increase in production has made Burkina Faso Africaâ€™s fourth largest producer of gold.
The agency said the rapid expansion of Burkina Fasoâ€™s industrial and artisanal mining sector in recent years has led to a dramatic shift in the countryâ€™s economy, which presents opportunities and challenges.
It observed that according to government statistics, the number of people directly involved in artisanal mining is estimated at 1 million.
EITI disclosed that whilst the main bulk of production comes from industrial mining (accounting for almost 99per cent of total output according to official figures), production from the artisanal mining is also significant, though poorly documented.
It stated that declared production from artisanal mining was 0.5 tons in 2013, but undeclared production was estimated as at least 8.8 tons according to a report by the Berne Declaration, a NGO investigating the sources of Switzerlandâ€™s gold.
The agency maintained that the study alleges that almost all of the gold produced by artisanal miners slips through the countryâ€™s borders undetected.
It noted that in 2013, the NGO reported that approximately seven tons of gold left the country undeclared and was exported to Switzerland via Togo.
EITI said additionally, the EITI Report revealed that only 37 of the certified 63 trading houses declared their revenues to the Office of Mines and Geology.
It said that massive protests forced President Blaise CompaorÃ© to resign from office in October 2014 after 27 years in power.
The agency noted that a transition government led by President Michel Kafando was appointed and tasked with the mandate of organising elections and facilitating the handover of power in one year.
It maintained that the temporary government managed to introduce some reforms, including the adoption of a new mining code by parliament in June 2015.
EITI said that the Code reaffirms Burkina Fasoâ€™s adherence to the EITI and makes it mandatory for all agreements and contracts between the government and mining companies to be published in the countryâ€™s official Gazette.
It also called for the establishment of various funds including one for environmental rehabilitation, improved security at artisanal mining sites and for the prohibition of the use of toxic chemical products.
EITI said this wide sweeping reform was signed into law by the interim President in July 2015. Soon after however, there was a failed military coup to overthrow the transition government.
It noted that despite this setback, the transition government handed over power to the democratically elected President Roch Marc Christian KaborÃ© in December 2015.
The agency noted that the political instability notwithstanding, EITI implementation continued unimpeded.
It maintained that the EITI Burkina Faso requested a two month extension for the publication of its 2013 Report and avoided suspension.
â€œThe report highlighted the importance of implementing those reforms for better governance of this growing sector.
â€œEITIâ€™s potential in improving the artisanal mining gold sector. By requiring all the buying houses to disclose the amount of gold that is bought and sold every year, EITI data can highlight how the sector really operates,â€ it added.