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Low tax guaranteed: how a Russian mining giant has saved $16.5m in Burkina Faso – one of the world’s poorest countries

23 August 2018, story by J.B., Daniela Quirós-Lépiz and Nick Mathiason

The impoverished citizens of Burkina Faso have missed out on an estimated $16.5m in gold mining royalties that could have funded vital public services thanks to a special low tax deal its former dictator made with the Russian firm, Norgold. The lost taxis significantly larger than the entire $12m Burkina Faso yearly budget for school supplies. Gold is Burkina Faso’s biggest export industry and was subject to a royalty rate of 3 percent on sales revenues until 2010. That year, a new floating royalty mechanism in line with the world gold price was introduced. These new rates did not apply to Norgold’s mine due to a highly controversial agreement made with a previous owner of the mine 15 years earlier. As a result of this story, Burkina Faso is re-examining its gold mine contracts to assess whether there are other fiscal stability clauses

Edited by Ted Jeory (Finance Uncovered).
The full story is published by L’economiste du Faso and by Cenozo.