Burkina Faso Investigates Canada Mine Company After Flooding Accident

Burkina Faso’s Prime Minister Albert Ouedraogo said that the government banned the managers of the Perkoa zinc mine operated by Canada-based Trevali Mining Corp from leaving the country while investigations are underway.

“Precautionary measures have been taken to prevent the persons in charge of the mine from leaving the country and instructions have been given firmly to the Minister of Security for this,” Ouedraogo said on Monday.

According to reports, eight workers at the mine went missing after heavy rainfall on April 16 caused flash floods at the mine. 

Ouedraogo said during a site visit that several days before the accident, “dynamite was used on the open-air [part of the] mine, which weakened the [underground] gallery and enabled the flooding.”

Meanwhile, Trevali director of investor relations Jason Mercier said that the company has not received any official communication from the government but was aware of the prime minister’s comments.

“Senior management of Trevali remains at the Perkoa Mine and are overseeing the active dewatering and mine rehabilitation work,” Mercier said.

“Trevali continues to work at maximum capacity, 24 hours a day, to locate the missing workers,” Mercier added.

Earlier, Trevali said that most workers underground evacuated safely during the flood except for the eight missing workers because they were working below Level 520, which is 520m (1,706 feet) from the surface.

News agency Al Jazeera reported that families of the six missing miners “filed cases against persons unknown for attempted manslaughter, endangering life, and failing to assist a person in danger.”

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