Global

  • Ghana’s gold diggers: Could they be legalised?

    Jon Spaull

    11/02/16
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The last in our film series on illegal mining asks what can be done to limit its harm and inflate its benefits.

Illegal small-scale gold mining is a huge problem in Ghana, both for the environment and for public health. But it also brings economic benefits. Crucially, the income from small-scale mining remains in the country and benefits people directly, unlike in the case of large-scale mining, where private companies often repatriate their profits overseas.
 
The last film in our four-part series looks at possible ways to tap into the potential for small-scale mining to drive economic development, while protecting the country’s natural capital and people’s health.
 
We hear from galamseys — illegal, small-scale miners — and speak to the chief executive of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, who argues that given that such mining produces as much gold as any of the country’s large-scale mines, this sector should be brought into the mainstream.
 
To do so, universities are already training the galamseys in sustainable mining practices, and they urge further environmental research into the impact of this neglected sector.
 

Watch the other films in the series:


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Part 1: Scramble comes at a high cost
In the first in a series of four films, we meet local ‘galamsey’ miners and investigate the business of illegal gold mining. 

 


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Part 2: Land and rivers laid to waste
The second in a series of four films on illegal gold mining investigates its devastating impact on the nearby environment.
 


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Part 3: Chinese miners bring conflict
Part three of a four-part film series on illegal gold mining focuses on the impact of foreign miners. 




See our article series Mining with impact here