Location and History


Taparko was the first gold mine built in Burkina Faso. Mining at Taparko commenced in 2005, with the first gold poured in late 2007.

Taparko mine is located in the Namantenga province of Burkina Faso in West Africa, approximately 200km northeast of Ouagadougou, the Capital City of Burkina Faso.

The principle road to Taparko is fully tarmacked, allowing a journey time of approximately two hours from Ouagadougou. The Bouroum mine site, a satellite of Taparko, is located approximately 49km northwest of the main Taparko site where all the mining and milling facilities are located. It is accessible from Taparko via a gravel road.

The airport at Ouagadougou has flight connections to all the major cities in Europe. There is a railway from the port of Abijan, Cote d’Ivoire to Kaya but the political instability in Cote d’Ivoire means that most of the freight destined for Burkina Faso arrives at Tema, Ghana.

The climate is characterised by a wet season extending from June to September, with the heaviest rains in August meaning an annual rainfall of between 400 and 600mm. Typical daytime temperatures range from 25°C in December to 45°C in May, dropping about 10°C at night. No surface accumulations of water remain throughout the year, except for man-made storage reservoirs.

Nordgold acquired control over Taparko mine in August 2008. The mine is operated by SOMITA SA, a company 90% owned by Nordgold’s subsidiary High River Gold. The remaining 10% belongs to the Government of Burkina Faso.

In 2018, Taparko produced 102.2 thousand ounces.

Supporting Burkina Faso Economy

Taparko payments in 2009-2016 stood at more than US$120 million in taxes, royalties and indirect taxes, which made a significant contribution to the social infrastructure of Burkina Faso.

We contributed approximately US$202 thousand on social development programmes in 2016 and we will match that next years.

Nordgold's investments in Burkina Faso have reached US$850 million since 2009.

Taparko offers strong potential to increase reserves and life of mine through the development of Yeou and Goengo deposits and provides long term value to local communities and the country’s economy.

In 2017, Nordgold jointly with the Embassy of France in Burkina Faso have decided to support the Association of Women in the Mining Sector of Burkina Faso (AFEMIB), which will implement a project focused on a creation of income-generating activities for woman at the Taparko satellite deposit Yeou.

For more information please see press release (French only)

Gold production (koz)

2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010
102.2 108.2* 111.2 83.2 112.0 108.4 126.7 132.5 127.2
  • *Due to lower grade ore processed

Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves Summary (31 December 2017)

Category Ore (Kt) Grade (g/t) Au (Koz)
Measured and Indicated 11,420 2.45 904
Inferred 2,063 3.28 218
Total (M+I+I) 13,483 2.58 1,122
Proven and Probable 5,900 2.55 483

For more information, please see Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves Press Release


The mine comprised four open pits alongside a processing plant, ball milling facility and CIL circuits. An additional cyclone unit was added to the CIL circuit to increase processing capacity and management has significantly expanded the fleet of trucks used for transporting ore to the processing plant. The site also has waste rock dumps, tailing containment areas, and a water management system, as well as accommodation for more than 600 workers.

Milling and Classification
Nordgold’s open pit operations use conventional surface mining methods involving drilling and blasting, followed by a load and haul process allowing for selective mining of the ore. Ore from the pit is then transported to a designated stockpile and fed into a crushing circuit. The crushed material is then moved onto a conveyor, which delivers the ore to a grinding circuit consisting of SAG and ball mills. The milled product is then thickened and leached into a CIP circuit.
Cyanide leaching and sorption
The cyanidation of the milled ore is carried out in the CIP or CIL circuit. During the CIP or CIL stage, pulp flows through several tanks where sodium cyanide and oxygen have been added to dissolve gold into solution. In the absorption stage, this solution flows through several tanks containing activated carbon. Gold then attaches onto the activated carbon, which flows counter current to the pulp, while screens separate the barren pulp from the gold-loaded carbon.
The final gold loaded carbon is removed and washed before undergoing elution. Elution is achieved by introducing the gold loaded carbon to a solution of sodium cyanide at a high temperature (>110°C) and under high pressure. This results in the reversal of the attachment process, with the gold detaching from the carbon back into solution. This produces a small volume of solution with a high gold concentration.
The gold loaded eluate solution that emerges from the elution process is passed through electrowinning cells, where gold is deposited onto the cells’ cathodes.
The cathodes then undergo a smelting process, further refining the gold and leading to the eventual production of gold ingots suitable for transport to a refinery.

2018 Deliveries

  • Ramping up annual mining volumes to 26Mt; focused on waste stripping of 35-5 West and East wall cutbacks, to maximize future ore supply from the Taparko pits.
  • A processing study to assess upgrading low grade stockpiles through screening will be completed in 2018.
  • A pre-feasibility study to evaluate the underground potential below the 35 pit commenced in Q1 2018, and is planned to be concluded Q1 2019.
  • Exploration is focused on Goengo and Tangarsi satellite pits, while a full-field exploration target generation project was launched in Q2 2018 with the objective to identify new early stage exploration targets.


tel.+7 495 644 44 73

Irina Dormidontova

tel.+7 495 644 44 73


tel.+7 495 644 4473 #707 6746