Insights from industry

Sustainable Mining In West Africa: An interview with Kate Blancato

Kate Blancato, CFO of Extracor Canada Mining, talks to AZoMining about environmentally friendly mining and the potential of mining in West Africa.

Could you please provide a brief overview of Extracor Canada Mining and the field you are working within?

To extract Gold from West Africa using environmentally safe technology while creating jobs for the community and new industries that will support the communities after the mining exploration is over.

Where is your current project located?

We are currently located in Burkina Faso, West Africa.

How has mining in West Africa developed over the last 5 years?

West Africa and especially Burkina Faso is becoming a centre of attention especially after Semafo became a success story. Many more companies came after Semafo and have developed the area and the region over the past 5 years.

Semafo has been a great example in the area and has showed many companies that it is possible to develop a mine in Burkina Faso.

How has the mining industry impacted Burkina Faso?

Burkina Faso doesn't have aqueduct nor has electricity. The mining industry has brought progress and the funds to develop some areas of the countries. Ouagadougou has showed a great area of development and great improvements. Many other cities are growing and are getting development.

In your opinion, is the net effect of mining companies in West Africa positive or negative (and why? How could they improve?)

For countries all countries mining can be a positive effect if there is requirements by the countries that will force all the mining companies to really provide jobs as they are promising and to really make a difference in the communities. All mining companies should be required to fully disclose how many job they will provide to each community and what they will provide as a CSR program

How do you strive to become the leading provider of environmentally safe solutions to the mining industry?

We eventually want to make every mine sustainable in terms of the way it operates. Our vision is to bring environmental safe solution to the mining explorations, which are safe for the environment and for the habitat of the communities. For example, our company can help mines to reduce the cost of fuel. This can be done by manufacturing biodiesel at the mine as part of the everyday mining process - agriculture products, plastics, and even garbage can be used to produce biodiesel.

What other CSR initiatives are you putting in place?

Our company has created a program to help girls to used birth control and about sexually transmitted disease. We are also helping communities learn how to raise food crops. Many communities are farmers but need better techniques and help to raise better food crops.

What is the effect of these on the local communities?

Many farmers have been able to grow food crops that grow better and faster.

Could you tell us more about creating biodiesel from crops like Jatropha?

There are many plants that make oil that can be used for biodiesel. These plants are Jatropha, Higuerilla, Sacha Inche and many more. The majority of these plants grow in warm sunny areas. Our company have develop 25 improve varieties of seeds that produce oil.

How do you see the future of the mining industry evolving and where does Extracor Canada Mining expect to be in 5 years?

The future of mining looks very good especially for the Gold industry because of the recession. Many people prefer to invest in Gold than in Dollars or euros. The problems in Mali could create big problems in Burkina Faso. The Canadian embassy is telling Canadian not to go to Burkina Faso. Many of the Canadian mines are close to the border of Mali and many Mali refugees are moving to Burkina Faso especially around mines.

Do you have any more information about the work that you do?

Yes we have work in the biggest development in Cerro Matoso the biggest nickel mine in Colombia own by BHP Billiton. We have done many studies and many projects in the area helping communities to grow and to develop growing areas of oil producing plants.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily represent the views of Limited (T/A) AZoNetwork, the owner and operator of this website. This disclaimer forms part of the Terms and Conditions of use of this website.

G.P. Thomas

Written by

G.P. Thomas

Gary graduated from the University of Manchester with a first-class honours degree in Geochemistry and a Masters in Earth Sciences. After working in the Australian mining industry, Gary decided to hang up his geology boots and turn his hand to writing. When he isn't developing topical and informative content, Gary can usually be found playing his beloved guitar, or watching Aston Villa FC snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.


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