Ghana-Cote d’Ivoire relations – Illegal gold mining a bane?

History of gold mining in large quantities in Ghana began in the 15th Century when Portuguese traders encountered gold in the country’s soil along the coast.
“At the seminar, which was organised to draw investors’ attention to what is described as Third Gold Boom, Ghanaians were told that their country could win as much as 2.7 million ounces of gold a year – with 12 mines in operation.
What does the miracle gold discovery mean to the Ghanaian and the world?
Man dey but no loo.
In the above and many other ways, Ghanaians celebrated the miracle gold discovery.
Participants and observers, most of them economic and business experts, observed that Ghana could become an economic miracle with proper management and supervision.” Has mining of the miracle gold discovered in the country’s soil in 1981 been properly managed and supervised?
What is known as galamsey mining has also polluted some water bodies – rivers and a lagoon – in Cote d’Ivoire.
Dr Kwesi Aning, a security analyst, commenting on galamsey mining in Ghana and water pollution in Cote d’Ivoire, has said: “So, polluted rivers in Ghana flowing across the boundaries into Cote d’Ivoire and polluting their rivers and underground source of water threatening livelihood – could worsen the tensions that are already in existence”.
Mining contributes a rate of 5 per cent a year to the economy.
In a few decades, there would be no good land for farming and the country would have to import water.

Illegal gold mining scourge

VietNamNet Bridge – Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh has asked authorities of the central Quang Nam Province to investigate reports of illegal gold exploitation in the Bong Mieu mine area.
Nguyen The Vinh, Chairman of the People’s Committee of Tam Lanh Commune, Phu Ninh District, Quang Nam Province, said an average of 60 illegal gold exploiters flock to the area every day, some of whom are local residents and others mostly from northern provinces.
Despite efforts by local authorities and police to set up checkpoints, the influx has not stopped.
The scavengers lived in camps, and when police show up they run into the forest.
The chairman warned that the mine area was a source of water pollution and ran a risk of tunnel collapse.
A large amount of toxic chemicals were transported by illegal gold exploiters and then discharged directly into the surrounding environment, directly affecting the lives of local people, according to the chairman.
He added that the mine had 40 tunnel gates, but many tunnels have been unoccupied for a long time and were vulnerable to collapse.
"The current situation in Bong Mieu is very complex, local authorities face difficulty dealing with the issue,” the chairman said.
Nguyen Canh, Secretary of the Phu Ninh District Party Committee, said district authorities had discussed with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment how to retrieve the gold mine from the Bong Mieu Gold Company, but the problem hadn’t been resolved.
He said Bong Mieu Gold Company should move all the explosive materials out of the mining area, then Tam Lanh Commune authorities would control the operation of the mine and stop illegal exploitation at the area.

Water scarcity, pollution to take shine off Latin American mining sector

Water scarcity, pollution to take shine off Latin American mining sector.
A recent example of this trend is what happened in El Salvador, which last month passed a law that bans all mining for gold and other metals in the country, in an effort to protect its environment, particularly its water streams.
BMI expects the usage and treatment of water in the mining industry to come under increasing scrutiny in Latin America, as droughts or arid environments in key regions heighten tension between miners and local communities and previous incidents lead to additional regulations.
The researchers name Chile, Argentina and countries in Central America as the most likely to enforce stricter water regulations due to scarcity, contamination or a combination of both issues: In Chile, the environmental regulatory body (SMA) has been more aggressively pursuing and fining water mismanagement in the mining sector, levelling charges against Antofagasta Minerals’ Los Pelambres copper mine and effectively suspending Kinross Gold’s Maricunga gold mine in 2016.
In Argentina, Barrick Gold paid a $9.8mn fine for a cyanide spill at the Veladero gold mine in 2016, agreeing to increase water monitoring at the operation in res ponse.
In March, a provincial government suspended operations at the mine due to a pipeline issue and, in April, Barrick announced the sale of a 50% stake in the Veladero mine to Chinese firm Shangdong Gold Group for $9.6mn.
In Brazil, following the 2015 tailings dam burst at the Samarco iron ore mine which killed nearly 20 people and polluted hundreds of miles of rivers, parent firms Vale and BHP Billiton face a $50bn lawsuit for damages.
In March, a Brazilian judge suspended the lawsuit as the firms negotiate with prosecutors.
Tighter regulations will come at a time when illegal gold mining is once again picking up in the region on the back improving prices for the yellow metal.
“When the negative externalities of gold mining, namely mercury and cyanide exposure to water sources, are left unaddressed, public opinion on all mining activity can motivate extreme legislation,” BMI concludes.