Ghana, China Address Rampant Illegal Mining – by Masahudu Kunateh (All – December 3, 2015)

Accra — The influx of illegal Chinese miners in Ghana is providing a stern test to the decades-old cordial relations between the two countries.

By law, small scale mining is solely preserved for Ghanaians. However, some Chinese miners have defied legislation by extracting gold in the remote parts of the West African country.

This has continued despite ongoing engagements between the two governments to address the issue.

Most of the Asian nationals, working without permits, have been accused of extending their operations into some restricted areas much to the devastation of land, crops, and farms.

The trend has mostly resulted in conflict between residents in mining communities and the Chinese miners.

“They (Chinese) leave the land devastated. Sometimes they do not even consult the people before they go there. The people also feel that they own the resource.

“They own the land and [Chinese] have come to take the gold away,” a youth activist, Kwame Baidu, complained.

An opinion leader, Opanyin Kofi Karikari, also complained that the Chinese invasion had culminated in guest houses and hotels raising rentals owing to the rising demand for accommodation.

“Access to such accommodation is becoming difficult for Ghanaians because most Chinese miners pay up front for months on end,” said Karikari.

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