Africa has seen a surge in foreign mining operations. This article analyzes the impact of mining explorations on company-community and intercommunity relationships in Burkina Faso. Burkina Faso's new neoliberal mining code compels exploration companies to negotiate with communities and acknowledge local practices at their exploration sites. The article examines interactions between locals and the staff of a foreign gold-exploration company—from initial contacts, marked by promises and expectations, to the point when disappointments started affecting alliances and increasing tensions in neighborly relationships. Against the backdrop of the 2008 credit crisis and its effects on Canadian junior companies, this analysis shows how the politics of belonging and shifting interpretations of autochthony articulate with the dynamics of mining exploration.


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pp. 22-39
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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