The artisanal and small scale mining (ASM) subsector in particular has contributed significantly to the overall economic gains Ghana has had from mining. Currently, the ASM subsector contributes about 39% (1.6 million ounce) of the total gold production in Ghana. It contributes significantly to foreign exchange earnings, generates both direct and indirect employment for many people countrywide and hence is a recognizably important component of the state’s poverty reduction strategies.
It is the estimated that more than 1,500,000 people are engaged in ASM.
But ASM has brought about massive levels of environmental destruction. The exploitation of minerals by artisanal and small scale miners has brought in its wake extensive levels of water pollution and land degradation, particularly with unregulated, high use and exposure of mercury.
The exposure to mercury by artisanal and small scale miners is a major but largely neglected global health problem – putting miners and their communities at risk of impacts from permanent brain damage to seizures, vision and hearing loss, and delayed childhood development. Also, gold miners are highly exposed to metallic mercury and suffer occupational mercury intoxication.
It is following these challenges in the ASM subsector that Commodity Monitor is rolling out sustainable equipment for small and large-scale miners.
Over the past weeks in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, Commodity Monitor visited key mining sites to engage small and medium scale miners in Ghana. It’s part of the Commodity Monitor’s intervention to transform small and medium scale mining, in particular. Small scale miners in Ghana produce about 40% of total gold output, but they do not have efficient processing equipment to boost production and prevent the use of dangerous chemicals like mercury.
In the above photo are small scale miners that are using simple, inefficient equipment to process ore and recover gold. In this process, they recover less than 45% of their gold using mercury. This has to change. Small scale mining sustains livelihoods of millions of people. Commodity Monitor is deploying efficient mineral processing plants that will boost production and leverage superior gold recovery.
There are millions of miners that need enhanced mining technology to boost production and recover more gold in a sustainable manner. Do you have interest? Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org