Bissa and Bouly

First two mines built by Nordgold

Bissa and Bouly were built by Nordgold in 2013 and 2016, respectively. Successful history of launching new mines reflects ability of Nordgold to select high quality projects, efficiently construct them and launch mines with minimal ramp-up period


Launched in January 2013, Bissa was the first mine built by Nordgold in Africa.

The mine was built on time and on budget.

Construction took 15 months and the payback period was 21 months from the date of its commissioning.


In September 2016, Nordgold expanded its Bissa mine with the launch of a heap leach facility at the nearby Bouly deposit.

Bouly’s construction and launch resulted from Nordgold’s successful exploration programme which identified a large, low-grade gold deposit in the immediate proximity of the existing Bissa operation. The mine construction was completed on schedule and on budget. Bouly was built in 13 months and the payback period was 33 months from the date of its commissioning.

Bouly is operated by Bissa’s management team and shares much of Bissa’s infrastructure, including camp and mess facilities, the analytical laboratory, the Tiben raw water reservoir, power generation, mobile maintenance and warehouse facilities. The proximity of Bouly to Bissa enables it to benefit from economies of scale, expert knowledge of the local geology, and a well-trained workforce.

Bissa-Bouly is using cutting-edge solutions at almost each step of the production value chain, including the Wenco Fleet management system, the LAS Fuel management system and LIMS (Laboratory Information Management system).

Nordgold owns a 90% interest in the Bissa and Bouly mines and the remaining 10%, in each case, is owned by the government of Burkina Faso.

Bissa-Bouly supports more than 1,300 jobs.


Bissa is located approximately 85km north of Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, and is accessible via Route Nationale 22, a sealed road. Ouagadougou airport has flight connections to major European cities.

Bouly is located only 5km away from Bissa on the border of Sabce and Mane rural communes.

Bissa Production Flow


The Bissa mine is a multi-deposit modern open pit operation with drilling and blasting followed by load and haul allowing for selective mining of the ore. The material lithologies are divided into four main categories: Laterite, Saprolite, Transition, and Fresh. The mine has its own mining fleet as well as undertakes the mine planning, scheduling, grade control, surveying and quality control.

Crushing and grinding circuit

The Bissa crushing and grinding circuit consists of a primary Jaw crusher feeding a crushed ore stockpile from where the SAG/Ball grinding circuit are fed, a pebble crusher is in closed circuit with the SAG mill. The SAG/Ball mill are operated in closed circuit with hydro-cyclones to produce a leach feed product.

Crushing and grinding circuit

The Bissa process plant treats non-refractory oxidised saprolite and transitional and fresh saprock hosted gold ore through a conventional carbon-in-leach ("CIL") circuit, producing doré on site.


Bouly Production Flow


The Bouly mine is a one-deposit operation. The ore is hauled to the heap leach pads, while the waste rocks are hauled to the waste dumps.

Crushing and sorting circuit

Bouly has two 2 stage crushing circuits consisting of a primary Jaw crusher and a secondary cone crusher. The crushed product is conveyed by overland conveyor to an agglomeration drum where the ore cement and a cyanide solution is mixed to form a stable agglomerate with a high permeability for effective leach solution flow.

Crushing and sorting circuit

The ore is stacked onto a static leach pad. After the two phases (primary and secondary) of leach cycle, the leached gold is adsorbed from pregnant solution in carbon in solution columns.

Gold recovery

The Bouly mine is technologically integrated with the Bissa mine for its final processing stages, including desorption, electro-winning and smelting to produce doré bullion, which all take place at the Bissa processing plant.

Gold recovery


The Bissa-Bouly operation has an environmental management framework that is being aligned with ISO 14001 international standard for Environmental Management Systems.

The mines are targeting certification of conformance to this standard in 2023.

Environmental considerations have been key since the beginning of our operations in Burkina Faso. At Bissa, ores are naturally metallurgically clean and its tailings storage facilities, designed and built by Golder, global provider of consulting, engineering and environmental services, ensure the safe containment of waste on site. The Bouly leach pad and associated drains and ponds were designed by Knight Piesold Australia in accordance with industry best practice and include the latest HDPE liner technology.

The mines are inspected by regulatory authorities, with environmental inspections and health and safety inspections generally undertaken annually.

There are no specially protected territories nearby.

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Supporting Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso owns
10% stake
in the mines
All mines operated by Nordgold in Burkina Faso are co-owned by Nordgold and the Government of Burkina Faso, which controls 10% of the operations.
Nordgold’s investment
US$1.3 billion
in Burkina Faso
Since 2009, Nordgold’s investment in Burkina Faso has exceeded US$1.3 billion.
Taxes and royalties
c. US$560 m
since 2009
Since 2009, Nordgold has contributed US$560 million to the government in the form of taxes and royalties.
Nordgold employs
1,300 people
in Burkina Faso
Our Bissa-Bouly operations in Burkina Faso provide over 1,300 permanent jobs in total.
Burkina Faso nationals
95% of our employees are Burkina Faso nationals, in accordance with the Company’s policy to actively hire and promote the citizens of our host countries.
Social investment
over US$22 m
Nordgold has contributed over US$22 million in Burkina Faso to social development programmes since 2009

Bissa-Bouly mines operated by Nordgold in Burkina Faso are co-owned by Nordgold and the Government of Burkina Faso, which controls 10% of the operations. Since 2008, when Nordgold first started operating in the country, we have been a reliable partner for Burkina Faso and a major contributor to the country’s economic and social development.

Nordgold grew into one of the largest gold miners operating in Burkina Faso in little over a decade. We produce close to 25% of Nordgold'd total gold output in the country and we are committed to the country’s economic and social development.

Nordgold’s investment in Burkina Faso has exceeded US$1.3 billion and, since 2009, Nordgold has contributed over US$500 million to the government in the form of taxes and royalties.

As a major employer, we play an important economic role in driving a fair distribution of wealth. Our operations in Burkina Faso provide over 1,300 permanent jobs in total. We actively hire and promote the citizens of our host countries.

At Nordgold, we act in a socially responsible way at all times and recognise local communities as one of our key stakeholders. We proactively seek their support and involvement in our projects and are proud of the contribution that our operations make to local communities, host provinces and nations. Nordgold’s concern for, and understanding of, the needs of local communities are an integral part of our approach to doing business wherever we operate. In addition to the thousands of jobs created and millions invested in our Burkina Faso operations, Nordgold has contributed over US$22 million in Burkina Faso to social development programmes since 2009 and we intend to continue this support into the future.

The Company’s extensive community development programmes in West Africa have been specifically designed to take into account feedback following consultations with the local people, with a focus on four priority themes: ‘Quality Education’, ‘Clean Water & Sanitation’, ‘Good Health’, and ‘Sustainable Cities & Communities’.

Community initiatives in Burkina Faso include the construction of new quality homes for local communities, considerable investment in new infrastructure projects including roads, schools and health centres, as well as investment into agriculture and livestock and supporting the development of small businesses. These programmes are also directly related to helping local communities that live close to the semi-arid region of the Sahel to mitigate the impact of climate change. For example, the Tiben raw water reservoir near Nordgold’s Bissa and Bouly mines in Burkina Faso, also provides a valuable year-round water source for the local communities farming activities, essential in an area impacted by climate change.

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Corporate Communications
Procurement Department