Czech - Ghanaian Chamber of Commerce


Gold mining is simply the process of extracting ore – metal-rich rock – from the earth’s crust.

Traditional Gold Mining with Soso, Toro, crack rocks by putting a fire under it were methods used for centuries and didn’t destroyed our environment.

Today Gold Mining is done with excavators and crushers and the gold is extracted in a chemical process with Mercury, Chrome, Cyanide and other heavy metals and chemicals.

It’s a fact that every 10,000 kg of rocks only contains 0.0031 grams of Gold. Harvesting one kg of Gold means that we have to crush and harvest 3.2 million kg of rock and sedimentary materials.

Taking in consideration that the average Galamsey area is only 5 m deep and the average rocks weighing 2,000 kg per m3 you will come to the conclusion that Galamsey destroys almost 16 acres of land for 1 kg Gold.

Further calculation shows that in 2014 Ghana exported officially 120,000 kg Gold (4.1 million ounces). When we estimated that roughly 30% is produced through Galamsey that result to over half a million acres are being destroyed annually by Galemsey. To make that number more understandable, that means that an area the Size of the Greater Accra Region is being destroyed every 17 months.

This demonstrates not the huge scale of damage caused by Galamsey on our land surface.

The biggest damage is done to our environment by the use of Mercury and Cyanide, Chromium and other products to extract the Gold and polluting our lands and rivers and other water bodies.

The reasons that large-scale gold mining is extremely capital-intensive is the fact that all large registered mining companies have to work according all environmental and other regulations.

In other words they have to make sure that trees are planted in Gold depleted areas, Mercury, Cyanide and other residues are removed from water before releasing it into water bodies and they have Corporate Social responsibility programs to compensate for the negative effects of mining.

I think that if we seriously want to tackle the problems of damages to our environment we need to issue licenses only to people, groups or companies who are capable and do keep our rivers and land clean after and whilst harvesting Gold.

Anybody else should be stopped and prosecuted because they are responsible for killing people through cancer and other medium and long term diseases.

There is no amount of compensation for life and livelihood of fellow Ghanaians suffering from the consequences of others who are mainly driven by greed and quick money and not by poverty as most of us want to believe.

Nico van Staalduinen

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