Ghana’s new law could end illegal mining

Ghana’s new law could end illegal mining

At one point an estimated 50,000 foreign workers were operating unlawfully in Ghana.

The government of Ghana is getting close to pass a new Minerals and Mining Act that seeks to fully regulate the sector could help to effectively deal with illegal mining in the country.

The revised law, GhanaWeb reports, will empower courts to confiscate equipment seized from illicit miners. Currently the state has not been able to hold on to them because existing regulations don’t support that.

MINING.com has kept a close eye on illegal gold mining in Ghana, Africa's second-largest producer of the precious metal. At its peak, an estimated 50,000 foreign workers, mainly Chinese, were operating unlawfully in the country. This prompted the government to create a taskforce in May last year to tackle the subject, and so avoid tension-generating issues, such as the massive deportation of almost two hundred of Chinese nationals last year.

But illicit operations continue to be a major problem in the Ashanti and Eastern regions of the country. According to Ghana News Agency (GNA) indiscriminate digging of deep trenches in frantic search for gold ore has wrecked most roads in the area. This has made especially difficult for health professionals to reach those communities.

Image: Aljazeera’s documentary screen grab.