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Press release from Marketwire

SEMAFO Leads in Corporate Social Responsibility and Becomes a Signatory of the United Nations Global Compact

Thursday, February 16, 2012

SEMAFO Leads in Corporate Social Responsibility and Becomes a Signatory of the United Nations Global Compact09:30 EST Thursday, February 16, 2012MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Feb. 16, 2012) - SEMAFO Inc. (TSX:SMF)(OMX:SMF) today announced that the Corporation has become a signatory of the United Nations ("UN") Global Compact. The Global Compact is a policy platform and practical framework for companies that are devoted to sustainability and responsible business practices. Its objective is to align business operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. With less than 2% of participants in the mining sector, SEMAFO is among industry leaders with its support of this global initiative, which was launched by the United Nations in July 2000."We are proud to be a leader for corporate social responsibility in West Africa," said Benoit La Salle, SEMAFO's President and Chief Executive Officer. "We remain focused on creating value for the communities and countries in which we operate. Through our existing corporate social responsibility programs and now our commitment to the United Nations Global Compact, we are paving the way to effect positive long-term change in West Africa." As a strong proponent of corporate social responsibility ("CSR") activities, in February 2011, SEMAFO began its broadcast of "Together for a Better Society", a 30-minute weekly national radio campaign in Burkina Faso. A total of 52 episodes were broadcasted in partnership with the Government of Burkina Faso and local organizations. These radio segments raise awareness and provide important information to favour development around social, economic and environmental issues."We would like to express our gratitude towards SEMAFO, a company that in its mining operations and its commitment to social responsibility, is the corporate role model our country needs," said Luc Adolphe TIAO, Prime Minister of Burkina Faso.SEMAFO's commitment to corporate social responsibility extends to both SEMAFO Energy and Fondation SEMAFO. The Corporation has contributed its savoir-faire to assist SEMAFO Energy in the effort to create consortiums that will work closely with host country governments to increase their energy resources. These efforts were recognized earlier this month at the 2012 Africa Mining Congress in Livingstone, Zambia, where SEMAFO was presented with the Green Energy Award.In 2011, SEMAFO also continued its important corporate philanthropy program of donating up to 2% of its net income to support Fondation SEMAFO in the realization of vital projects. In its vision of becoming a role model for foundations in West Africa, Fondation SEMAFO has aligned its actions with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, an initiative also advocated by the UN Global Compact. The foundation's objectives are to expand education, facilitate access to healthcare, initiate revenue-generating programs and create a global partnership for development.Recent and ongoing initiatives include:Construction of schools, establishment of lunch programs and support for adult education programs Construction of health care clinics Launch of a cervical cancer prevention program in partnership with world renowned doctors from the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada Collection, delivery and distribution of donated items, including medical supplies, school and office supplies, books, clothing and other miscellaneous items, filling 44 freight containers since 2009 Revenue-generating programs, which to date have benefited thousands of Burkinabe and Nigeriens: Production and international marketing of Shea products in Burkina Faso Production and improved processing of sesame for international markets Development of the paprika industry in Burkina Faso and Niger Installation of multifunctional platforms to power devices such as grain mills, pumps and generators, which aid in the creation of small businesses and promote the empowerment of local populations Complete information regarding SEMAFO's CSR initiatives can be found in the 2010 Sustainable Development Report located at www.semafo.com. The 2011 Sustainable Development Report will be available in March 2012.About SEMAFO SEMAFO is a Canadian-based mining company with gold production and exploration activities in West Africa. The Corporation currently operates three gold mines: the Mana Mine in Burkina Faso, the Samira Hill Mine in Niger and the Kiniero Mine in Guinea. SEMAFO is committed to evolve in a conscientious manner to become a major player in its geographical area of interest. SEMAFO's strategic focus is to maximize shareholder value by effectively managing its existing assets as well as pursuing organic and strategic growth opportunities.FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Sofia St LaurentSEMAFOCommunicationsTel. local & overseas: +1 (514) 744 4408North America Toll-Free: 1 (888) 744 4408sstlaurent@semafo.com/www.semafo.comORBrunswick Group StockholmMaria Bang+46 (8) 410 32 189mbang@brunswickgroup.comsstlaurent@semafo.com