West African gold mining and exploration company Avocet Mining has ceased operations at its Inata mine in Burkina Faso due to an illegal labour strike.

The strike started on 4 December following discussions with workforce representatives over labour cost reductions that are essential for the mine to continue operations, especially during periods of low gold prices.

Avocet Mining said the company is currently in discussions with a committee representing the Inata mine workforce.

"Various ministries and departments in the Burkina Faso Government are mediating between the company and workers."

Various ministries and departments in the Burkina Faso Government are mediating between the company and workers to reach an amicable resolution.

The Inata Gold Mine, which was commissioned in June 2009, is 90%-owned by Avocet and 10%-owned by the Government of Burkina Faso.

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By GlobalData

With six open pits, mining at Inata focuses on the North, Central and Far South pits and is undertaken by conventional open pit methods using three owner-operated fleets of mining vehicles.

The mine licence covers an area of 39km² and extensive potential exists to increase Inata’s resource in this area. Drilling within the mining licence, as well as adjacent areas, has focused on expanding the known mineralisation along the Inata and Minfo trends.

The company also has several exploration licences in Burkina Faso and the Tri-K development project in Guinea.