Following two armed incidents last week near SEMAFO Inc.’s mines in Burkina Faso, the company has updated its security measures to try to prevent any further dangerous situations for its employees. This includes adding a ground military force, transporting employees via helicopter to the mine, and reinforcing escorts of employees to and from the mine.

On August 17, a bus transporting employees from the town of Bobo-Dioulasso to the Mana mine in Burkina Faso was shot at by armed bandits. In the exchange between policemen and bandits, one SEMAFO national employee and one subcontractor employee lost their lives.

On August 15, an armed incident occurred between the town of Fada and the Boungou mine site that left five gendarmes and one sub-contractor employee dead.

The company said it does not believe the incidents are related.

All expatriate employees are now being transported by helicopter from Ouagadougou to the Boungou and Mana mines. In addition, a ground military force has been deployed on the route between the Boungou mine and the capital city. Reinforced escorts for transportation of national employees to and from the Mana mine has also been initiated.

“These measures, combined with a heightened escort presence, will ensure transportation of national employees to and from the mine to their villages,” SEMAFO said in a statement.

SEMAFO is a Canadian-based mining company with gold production and exploration activities in West Africa.