Ghana's Gold Sparks Conflict with Illegal Chinese Miners

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"Small-scale mining is reserved for Ghanaian nationals as the law allows foreigners only to provide goods and services to Ghanaian miners. Chinese-made gold mining equipment has quickly become popular in mining towns including Tarkwa, which is near Ghana's biggest gold mine, run by Gold Fields Ltd."

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Bloomberg, Pauline Bax

When a patch of land on the edge of Nweneso No. 1 village was bought by a Ghanaian who said he wanted to search for gold, few residents objected. Then dozens of Chinese moved in with excavators, wrecking farmland and turning the local stream into a trickle of mud.

"The Chinese destroyed our land and our river, they are sitting there with pick-ups and guns, plenty of guns," Maxwell Owusu, acting chief of the village in the central Ashanti region, said last month. "They operate big machines and it makes it very difficult to reclaim the land for farming when they are done."

As global gold prices climb amid economic uncertainty in Europe, Ghana is facing an influx of illegal small-scale miners from China using machinery villagers say they can't afford. The operations are raising concern over environmental damage in Africa's second-biggest gold producer and sparking anger among Ghanaians who say they sold their farmland without knowing Chinese gold miners would move into camps nearby. . .View Full Article

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