Industry players in the mining sector have cautioned authorities over the dire consequences of galamsey on Ghana's mineral revenue as international refineries hints of blacklisting countries that employ unethical mining methods.
Industry players in the mining sector have cautioned authorities over the dire consequences of galamsey on Ghana's mineral revenues.
These players believe that, apart from the environmental hazards that galamsey causes, the country also risks losing patronage of its gold by global refineries.
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A galamsey is a local artisanal miner in Ghana. These people do mining independent of mining companies, digging small pits and tunnels by hand.
In Ghana, mining activities in gold-rich regions can be traced to back to the days of colonialism when the nation was called the Gold Coast. Ghana’s huge mineral wealth places the country tenth, in the world of gold producers.
The mining industry in Ghana accounts for 5% of the country's GDP and minerals make up 37% of total exports, with gold contributing over 90% of the total mineral exports.
However, the Minerals Commission of Ghana says the country risks losing such benefits due to menaces like galamsey among others.
The Chief Executive Officers of the Minerals Commission, Dr. Toni Aubynn explains that foreign refineries say, the use of children in mining and also unethical standards that pollute the environment will make them boycott the country's gold.
The International Labour Organization estimates that about one million Ghanaian children work in artisanal mining.
This they say is against international mining regulations
Gold refiners hold significant power in the supply chain, as there are few companies who refine most of the world’s gold.
Reports show that these refineries have been advised to boycott gold from Ghana as a strong measure to eradicate child labour from the supply chains.
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The Minerals' Commission in Ghana says some refineries have already hinted plans to boycott gold from Ghana.
However the commission explains that it is pushing hard to draw the line between legal mining and galamsey so as to win some trust in the face of international refineries.