Galamsey in High Places, if this is really true, then…

An article by Matthew Goshen, a Video Editor and Content Writer of Energy Capital and Power, reads: Global gold production reached approximately 3,000 tons in 2021, with Africa accounting for nearly a quarter with total gold mine production in the continent amounting to 680.3 tons that year.

Swiftly becoming one of the largest gold producing regions in the world, West Africa in recent years has become home to three of the top five gold producing countries on the African continent…

Ghana: 117.6 tons. Currently, the leading African gold producing country and sixth in the world is Ghana, with the country’s gold production amounting to a total of 117.6 tons in 2021. Comprising roughly 90% of the West African country’s total mineral exports and 49% of its total export value, Ghana is considered one of the most prolific regions of gold discoveries in the world, with its Bibiani Shear Zone hosting multi-million-ounce gold deposits.

South Africa: 100 tons. Accounting for 4.2% of global gold production, South Africa’s gold production was reported at 100 tons in December 2021.

Sudan: 93 tons. While the majority of Sudan’s mineral reserves remain underdeveloped, mining in the East African country contributes approximately 4% to its GDP, with gold serving as the primary driver.

Mali: 63.4 tons. Accounting for 80% of the country’s total exports in 2021, gold represents the country’s most important export, accounting for nearly 10% of its GDP.

Burkina Faso: 45 tons. Possessing one of the most dynamic mining sectors in the region, with major resources including copper, zinc, limestone, manganese and phosphate, Burkina Faso’s gold mining industry has grown steadily over the last decade.

The above sounds good. Ghana is now the leading gold producer in Africa and the sixth in the world. But the question is, how has this changed our lives? There is nothing to show that can be directed to gold in this country. And as the article by Matthew Goosen stated the 117.6 tons of gold, we produced in 2021, could work out to yield us about $7.7 billion.

And here is the fear. How much worth of gold do we lose through illegal exportation of gold from Ghana to countries like China, the Arab World and India to mention a few?

It is very possible that we could be losing at least five times what is recorded here, through illegal and unregulated mining called galamsey, and that could work to about $38.5 billion.

Apart from making Ghana lose lots of revenue out of illegal trading of gold, galamsey is gradually turning this country into an uninhabitable land. Our soil and water bodies are being polluted and soon our lands and fresh water will become toxic.

Crops produced on our lands will be poisoned and infest the consumer with diseases that may have no cure. The same will be with the water we take. Meanwhile deforestation is becoming rife, with galamsey. Our pure water producers will not get good source of water. And in the end, Ghana will be a major importer of basic food and water.

This almost happened to the South American country, El Salvador, when many families relied on polluted tap water since they cannot afford bottled water or do not have the resources or ability to obtain cleaner water.

The main reason for this calamity was mining and to find a lasting solution, El Salvador banned all forms of mining.

Ghana is moving fast towards the El Salvador situation and sooner than later, about 90% of our land and water bodies will be polluted.

H.E. President Nana Addo Akufo-Addo, put his presidency on the line and implemented a war against galamsey. With the president, against galamsey, it is natural that all those who work in his seat government, Jubilee House, in his government and all his appointees will be seen to be allergic to anything galamsey.

But this happened to be the opposite if what Hon. Dr. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng put across is true.

And if it is true, we have another situation here. First, President John Evans Atta Mills warned his cabinet against paying Alfred Agbesi Woyome the illegal judgment debt of GH¢ 51.2 million and yet his instruction was disregarded and Woyome was paid.

Today and if what Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng has stated in his report is true, then it means we have people working in the corridors of power, who have decided to disregard the President’s instructions and directives.

If some of those walking the corridors of power are kingpins and dons of galamsey, how can it be prevented? Out of galamsey, the Chinese are repatriating billions of dollars of gold to China, through our ports, especially the sea ports, without paying any tax or commission. The billions of dollars in gold going to China are not recorded, yet any money we take from China is recorded and we are made to repay.

Galamsey in high places is not an option. We must unite and protect our national and mineral resources for posterity’s sake. Greed can soon wreck this country and whatever money those who indulge in galamsey will make, it will all go into finding cures for strange diseases and that will even not be enough.

Prof Kwabena Frimpong Boateng’s report must be studied thoroughly and recommendations from it, must be made to prevent Ghana from the El Salvador situation.

Hon. Daniel Dugan

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect The Chronicle’s stance.


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