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Title:Africa investigates: Ghana gold
Editors:Jones, Elizabeth
Aremeyaw Anas, AnasISNI
Geographic term:Ghana
Subjects:gold mining
environmental degradation
foreign investments
External link:http://bcove.me/73rpxna9
Abstract:With the price of precious metals surging on the world market, Ghana is experiencing a new gold rush as more people try and get access to its most famous export. Unfortunately, much of that effort revolves around unlicensed - and hence illegal - mining operations, known locally as 'galamsey', which are often funded by foreign speculators and criminals. The potential profits are huge but few if any of the groups and individuals involved will spare a thought for the environmental destruction illegal mining causes or for the safety of workers they hire, on pitiful salaries, to extract the gold on their behalf. As Ghanaian investigative reporter, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, has been discovering, the consequences of this indifference can be tragic. In June 2010 for example, one 'galamsey' operation near Dunkwa-on-Offin, in central Ghana, went disastrously wrong when the mine flooded and 150 people were killed. It devastated the local community, but it was by no means an isolated incident. Despite the efforts of the authorities, who occasionally launch high profile raids to shut the galamsey operations down, illegal mining continues to thrive. Indeed, as this investigation reveals, the operations have proved so lucrative that in parts of Ghana, a wave of Chinese speculators has moved in to provide the funds to hire the workers and import the necessary machinery. At one point Anas goes undercover to work in an illegal mine run by one of these groups and finds that children are being employed too. Widespread corruption is a big problem. [Abstract reproduced from website]