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The price of gold: Chinese mining in Ghana documentary

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Comment by Nooruddin Poonawala on June 10, 2017 at 17:59

This documentary explains  about illegal mining and all type of irregularities. I travel that part of World several times. I specialize in Minerals and run my business of ethical  ground as I last 35 years in industries. This report prepare by  journalist based on couple of interviews and some sites video. No matter any individual and companies go to any country the main concept to make money. My several years experience in Global Mineral industries all irregularities start from local government and authorities. In Ghana If you are not black you are white and according to their understanding to cheat and steal to white person is normal and in some case it is part of revenge what people did in slavery period. But no one investigate even  international agencies how the slavery business operated. In case of Ghana The powerful tribes ( Ashanti and other ) attaching  less powerful tribes and first instant make their own black population slave and Ashanti tribal chief selling their own brother to outsiders. If some one creating any report they must visit slave camp in Cape cost . In museum there you will see all type of  pictures and explanation . But no one talk about role of Ashanti tribe ( most powerful tribe ) Do their is any one in Ghana have courage to unearth truth. If outsiders go to some country and misuse resources of countries . The first responsibilities lays on local authorities and that country Govt. In short their own people are their enemy but this truth no own wants to speak no local Govt no human rights agencies even people direct suffering. Just for a movement think why local rich  people in Africa do nt want to invest locally. Chinese investment of 3 billion dollars in Ghana may create a strong country economy but I am sure until or unless these nation do not stop their own people to stop cheating and stealing 

Comment by Ron Smit on August 23, 2013 at 11:23

Interesting and colourful, illustrating quite a few issues.  But too much focus on the Chinese aspect.  Chinese actions there are in no way different from what many others, mainly Ghanaians, have been doing for decades.

Some comments:

Rather than discussing locals stealing from Chinese miners (they probably think the Chinese are stealing 'their' gold from the ground anyway) the debate should be around illegal miners of all nationalities stealing wealth from their own current and future generations.

Selling to the PMMC (whether miners are illegal or not) is the only way in which the country can obtain a royalty payment.  The appropriate use of royalty payments is one way for government to offset the loss of wealth.

Whether something is deemed illegal or not, does not guarantee that the law will be or can be enforced.  In theory the police should enforce the laws of the country, acting against illegal miners, and even protecting the rights of legal miners, whether small-scale, or large international ones.  In practice they do not have the manpower or other resources, and have frequently required legal licence holders to pay them directly in order to evict illegal 'galamsey' or illegal operators.  This leads to comments that the police/government are in cahoots with large international companies, creating perceptions of corruption.

A solution is not simple, people almost expect the police to be incapable and corrupt, and many people certainly have grown used to the 'Ghanaian way' of doing things.  To further complicate matters, it is alleged that the eventual benefits of many illegal so-called 'small-scale' operations accrue to businessmen in cities and possibly even in some levels of local or national government.

Small-scale mining is full of problems, but is never going to disappear.  The answer has to lie in some way of formalisation, using a mixture of better governance and improved conditions for the workers.  That solution will not be easy, but will need to address issues in much greater depth than seen in this documentary.

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