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Gold Mining to Boost Burkina Faso’s Expansion to 7% Next Year

Burkina Faso expects an increase in gold mining, its biggest source of foreign currency, to boost economic expansion to 7 percent next year, faster than the International Monetary Fund’s forecast, said National Budget Director Hamadou Sangare.

The outlook is part of the West African nation’s spending and revenue plan for next year, which is currently being debated by the National Assembly, he said by phone on Oct. 2 in Ouagadougou, the capital.

Expansion in the landlocked country will outpace the African average of 5.8 percent, according to the IMF, which forecast growth of 6.4 percent for 2013 from 5 percent this year. Gold production is expected to increase to 65 to 70 tons by 2015, according to Mines, Quarries and Energy Minister Salif Lamoussa Kabore.

Burkina Faso began mining gold for the first time in 12 years when Somita SA, a unit of High River Gold Mines Ltd., started its operation in 2007. The country has seven mines currently, including Iamgold Corp.’s Essakane SA, Semafo Inc. of Canada and Endeavour Mining Corp.

Mining is expected to bring revenue of 842 billion CFA francs ($1.7 billion) to the country this year from 718 billion francs in 2011, Kabore said in an interview on Oct. 1.

“Government wants to diversify the country’s mines,” Kabore said. The World Bank is lending 15 billion francs to compile a data bank of its natural resources, he said.

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