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IFC Invests in Burkina Faso’s Mining Sector to Foster Economic Growth


In Nairobi:
Houtan Bassiri
Phone: +254 (20) 275 9000
E-mail:
hbassiri@ifc.org

In Washington, D.C.:
Josef Skoldeberg
Phone:  +1 (202) 473-6978
E-mail:
jskoldeberg@ifc.org


Washington/Burkina Faso, September 8, 2009—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping Gryphon Minerals Limited explore and develop mineral deposits in Burkina Faso that will create jobs and support the country’s economic growth once developed into mines.

IFC has made an equity investment of two million Australian dollars in Gryphon Minerals. The company will use the funds to finance exploration and feasibility studies of its flagship property, the Banfora Gold Project, in southwest Burkina Faso. If the exploration is successful, IFC will work with the company to implement best-practice environmental and social management and explore how it can help local businesses become suppliers to its mining operations.

“IFC is more than an investor, it also is an advisor with a serious commitment to development in Africa,” said Stephen Parsons, Managing Director for Gryphon in Burkina Faso. “We have already benefited from IFC’s expertise in environmental and social management.”

Burkina Faso’s commercial mining sector is developing but has the potential to create significant government revenues and jobs for the people of Burkina Faso. The country has good mineral deposits, but until recently most mining activity was carried out by artisanal miners. The successful implementation of new mining laws in 2003 has resulted in a substantial increase in commercial mining exploration and production activities, placing Burkina Faso among Africa’s top-five gold producers.

“Gryphon shares IFC’s commitment to responsible mining and values engagement with local communities,” said William Bulmer, Global Head of IFC Mining Investments. “We see this project as an opportunity to help set new environmental and social standards for Burkina Faso’s emerging mining sector and look forward to a long-term relationship with Gryphon.”  

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $15 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

About Gryphon
Gryphon Minerals Limited is a mineral exploration company that has been engaged in exploration activities at the Banfora Gold Project in Burkina Faso since 2005. The project area contains five exploration licenses covering a total of 1,150 square kilometers. For more information, visit www.gryphonminerals.com.au.