Last update:

Bissa-Bouly Gold Mine, Burkina Faso

Dispossessed populations feel duped by gold mining companies and begin to raise their voices alongside a wider social justice movement in Burkina Faso.


En Francais ci-dessous 

See more
Basic Data
Name of conflict:Bissa-Bouly Gold Mine, Burkina Faso
Country:Burkina Faso
State or province:Région Centre-Nord
Location of conflict:Commune rurale de Mané et Sabcé, Province de Bam
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Tailings from mines
Land acquisition conflicts
Pollution related to transport (spills, dust, emissions)
Specific commodities:Gold
Project Details and Actors
Project details

En Francais ci-dessous

See more
Project area:12,900
Level of Investment for the conflictive project390,000,000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:2,000 - 3,000
Start of the conflict:01/10/2014
Company names or state enterprises:Nordgold from Russian Federation
High River Gold (HRGWA)
Relevant government actors:Ministère des Mines et de l'Energie
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Organisation pour le Renforcement des Capacités de Développement (ORCADE), Mouvement burkinabè des droits de l’homme et des peuples (MBDHP)
Association de paysans Soutong Nooma, Organisation Démocratique de la Jeunesse du Burkina Faso (ODJ), Action de Carême
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Artisanal miners
Industrial workers
International ejos
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Land occupation
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Property damage/arson
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Potential: Food insecurity (crop damage), Soil erosion, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Mine tailing spills
Other Environmental impactsContamination of water with arsenic
Health ImpactsVisible: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Other environmental related diseases
Potential: Malnutrition, Deaths, Occupational disease and accidents
Other Health impactsRespiratory disorders
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Specific impacts on women, Land dispossession, Displacement, Other socio-economic impacts, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Militarization and increased police presence
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors
Other socio-economic impactsDynamite blasts, houses cracking, loss of activities for women to access revenues (e.g. they used to sell vegetables to the artisanal miners that used to mine in Bissa)
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Criminalization of activists
New legislation
Violent targeting of activists
Proposal and development of alternatives:The Ngo ORCADE calls upon the state to incentivize the dialogue between local authorities, the populations and the mining companies (recommendation for all the mining sites in Burkina Faso, including in Bissa-Bouly). Local EJOs continue to galvanize the local population to demand that the company respect their rights to decent labor opportunities, reinvestment into the locality, and a clean environment at the close of the project.
------------ En Francais ------------
L'ONG ORCADE demande à l'Etat de s'engager à améliorer les conditions pour un meilleur dialogue entre les représentants des entreprises minières et les populations locales (recommendation afin de s'adresser à la situation sur plusieurs site miniers, y compris celui de Bissa-Bouly). Les Ejos locales continuent de demander aux entreprises minières de respecter le droit des populations locales à avoir accès à un travail décent, d'investir dans la localité, et de mener à terme des projets de restauration de l'environnement une fois leur projet fini.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Gold mining continues in Burkina, unhindered by the pressure from social movements. Also, in light of police and military repression of protesters (arrests and statements confusing protestors with terrorists), the movements could possibly be weakened by these threats. The hope remains that the new Mining Code will be enacted and these civil society organizations can bring about lawsuits for non-compliance.
--------- En Francais ----------
Les projets miniers continuent au Burkina Faso sans faire face à de majeures oppositions sociales. Face à la répression policière et militaire des manifestants (accusés à tort de terrorisme), les mouvements sociaux pourraient potentiellement etre affaiblis. Une fois le nouveau Code Minier adopté, les ONG pourraient intenter des poursuites judiciaires pour non-conformité des projets miniers.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

Code Minier de 2015. Stipule que les sociétés minières devraient verser 1% de leur chiffre d'affaire dans le fonds minier de développement local.

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Engels B., 2016. Mining conflicts in sub-Saharan Africa: Actors and repertoires of contention, GLOCON Working Paper Series, No. 2
[click to view]

Rapport Général. Commission d'enquête parlementaire sur la gestion des titres miniers et la responsabilité sociale des entreprises minières, Septembre 2016
[click to view]

[1] Nordgold webpage on Bissa and Bouly
[click to view]

[click to view]

[2] Presentation of Nordgold's community resettlement program
[click to view]

[click to view]

[4] Sabcé: des femmes en colère contre Bissa-Gold bloquent la nationale 22, avril 2016
[click to view]

[4] Mothers Block road
[click to view]

[5] Gold macht uns arm - Bergbaukonflikte in Burkina Faso (Gold makes us poor: Mining conflicts in Burkina Faso)
[click to view]

[5] Gold makes us poor (
[click to view]

[6] There are industrial disputes every week
[click to view]

[click to view]

[8] Chrysogone Zougmoré, Burkina : « Les autorités politiques et judiciaires jouent à saute-mouton », 4 novembre 2017
[click to view]

[click to view]

[10] Engels, B. 2018. Nothing will be as before: Shifting political opportunity structures in protests against gold mining in Burkina Faso. The Extractive Industries and Society.
[click to view]

[11] Bouly Mine added
[click to view]

[12] Platform of Organisation Démocratique de la Jeunesse du Burkina Faso (O.D.J)Section du Bam (O.D.J /Bam).
[click to view]

[12] Conflits entre populations et sociétés minières: « L’Etat et les sociétés minières responsables » selon L’ONG ORCADE, Le Pays, 2 mai 2017
[click to view]

[13] New Mining Code in burkina - Radio France Int'l
[click to view]

[13] Conflits entre les entreprises minières et les communautés: une enquête en donne les causes, Les Echos, 1er mai 2017
[click to view]

[14] Compagnies minières et communautés riveraines : Une cohabitation pas toujours facile, selon l’ONG ORCADE, Le Faso, 1er Mai 2017
[click to view]

[15] Bissa Gold : Les travailleurs dénoncent une exploitation du personnel, Lefaso, 8 mai 2018
[click to view]

[16] Nordgold completes acquisition of Burkina Faso project, Mining Weekly, 20 October 2014
[click to view]

[17] Burkina Faso : de bonnes nouvelles pour les travailleurs de Bissa-Bouly, 16 mai 2018
[click to view]

[18] Nordgold Completes Acquisition of the Ronguen Gold Project
[click to view]

[19] Nordgold présente son programme d'exploration de BIssa-Bouly
[click to view]

Mines au Burkina : L’état des investissements sociaux selon l’ITIE, 07/04/2017
[click to view]

Nordgold Receives Mining License for Bissa Project, Burkina Faso
[click to view]

Nordgold completes acquisition of Burkina Faso project, 20/10/2014
[click to view]

Mining Conflicts, Burkina Faso
[click to view]

Nordgold launches Bouly gold heap leach operation in Burkina Faso, 19/09/2016
[click to view]

First Gold Poured at New Bissa Mine in Burkina Faso
[click to view]

Bissa, Mining Atlas
[click to view]

Sabcé: des personnes saccagent Bissa Gold, 17 Juin 2016
[click to view]

Inauguration de la mine de Bissa Gold: la septième grande mine d'or du Burkina
[click to view]

Burkina Faso : Bissa Gold voit son permis d'exploitation étendu, 02/08/2014
[click to view]

Nordgold launches third operation in Burkina Faso, 21/09/2016
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

[20] Tout ce qui brille n'est pas de l'or, Action de Carême et Pain pour le Prochain, 2016
[click to view]

[21] Le profit plus important que les droits humains? Action de Carême et Pain pour le Prochain, Lucerne, février 2016
[click to view]

Thoughts About International Players in Burkina Faso: Zen about Zida to Can-do Kafondo, 19/11/2014
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Julie L. Snorek ([email protected]) and Camila Rolando ([email protected] )
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:3315
Legal notice / Aviso legal
We use cookies for statistical purposes and to improve our services. By clicking "Accept cookies" you consent to place cookies when visiting the website. For more information, and to find out how to change the configuration of cookies, please read our cookie policy. Utilizamos cookies para realizar el análisis de la navegación de los usuarios y mejorar nuestros servicios. Al pulsar "Accept cookies" consiente dichas cookies. Puede obtener más información, o bien conocer cómo cambiar la configuración, pulsando en más información.