Endeavour Mining beefs up counter-terrorism protocols at mines in the Sahel

During the last 12 months, Endeavour Mining has significantly increased its safety protocols against the threat of local armed groups in the Sahel, particularly in central and Eastern Burkina Faso.

The disturbing spectre of terrorism in the region was raised in November 2019, when 40 people were killed by a jihadist group on a bus convoy transporting 241 employees to the Boungou gold mine, which Endeavour took over from its Canadian compatriot Semafo in March 2020.

Since acquiring the mine, TSX-listed Endeavour has strengthened security at the site with daily coordination with the public defence and security forces. The miner has also imposed strict rules on logistical services and arranged transport via helicopter for both expatriate and local staff.

In a recent interview with The Africa Report, Endeavour’s executive VP for public affairs, CSR and security Pascal Bernasconi said the terror threat and the COVID-19 pandemic have not had a serious impact on the company’s gold production.

“Terrorism and the COVID-19 pandemic are actually problems facing the whole world, not just the Sahel,” he said. “Terrorists are striking everywhere and COVID-19 is claiming more victims in the West than in Africa. In reality, no one, anywhere, is safe from a terrorist attack.

“Our priority remains the safety of our employees, the well-being of neighbouring communities and solidarity with the nations, which are our partners,” Bernasconi added.