Burkina Faso gold output to reach 40 T by 2016 -minister

Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:06pm EDT
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ABIDJAN, June 24 (Reuters) - Burkina Faso's gold output is expected to rise 25 percent to 40 tonnes a year by 2016 as three new mines go into production next year, mines and energy minister Salif Kabore said on Tuesday.

Gold has leapfrogged cotton to become the landlocked west African nation's main export since 2009 and now accounts for roughly 20 percent of GDP.

"We are on track to increase gold production from September 2015. Three new mines will reach the production stage and we think we will hit our 40 tonnes target in two years," Kabore said in the sideline of a regional mines meeting in the Ivorian capital Abidjan.

The new gold mines belong to TrueGold, Gryphone and Roxgold, Kabore said.

Toronto-listed IAMGOLD and Semafo are the other miners currently producing gold in the west African nation.

Burkina Faso produced some 32 tonnes of gold last year from its seven gold mines but it is aiming to reorganise its small-scale gold mining industry to increase the potential of the sector, Kabore said.

"Burkina Faso is positioning itself as a mining destination. We are on track to keep on producing gold for the next two decades and in five years we will have 15 mines in operation," he said. (Reporting By Loucoumane Coulibaly; writing by Bate Felix; editing by Keiron Henderson)