Illegal Chinese gold mining triggers conflict in Ghana

Illegal gold mining by Chinese nationals using heavy machinery has fueled resentment and hostility amongst rural communities in Ghana.

Bloomberg reports that the environmental destruction caused by the increasing number of Chinese gold miners operating illegally in the West African nation has become an acute source of tension as well as violent conflict.

According to Toni Aubynn, head of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, the "mechanization of artisanal mining" by the Chinese, who make use of bulldozers, pay loaders and other forms of heavy machinery in their extraction operations, has led to "huge" environmental devastation of local farmland.

Bloomberg further alleges that resentment over the issue has already led to deadly incidents, with Ghanaian state-owned media reporting that two Chinese nationals were killed in July over a mining dispute.

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