Authors: Jesse Sey Ayivor*, University of Ghana, Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies, Nene-Lomotey Kuditchar, University of Ghana, Department of Political Science, Sandra Ayivor, University of West Florida, College of Education and Professional Studies
Topics: Environment, Political Geography, Communication
Keywords: illegal small-scale gold mining, environmental destruction, socio-economic, media reports, Ghana
Session Type: Paper
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Small-scale gold mining in Ghana in the past comprised alluvial mining and mineral ore extraction from pits and tunnels using rudimentary implements. Though the industry in that era provided jobs to low-skilled rural folks at less enviornmental cost, in recent times, it has become very sophisticated involving the deployment of heavy machinery leading to serious environmental impacts.' Using the “Issue Attention Cycle” this study explores the dynamics of artisanal small-scale mining in Ghana, issues of public concern, media campaign against the activity, as well as policy response. Data for the study were derived from focus group discussions, in-depth interviews, on-site observations and analysis of on-line media reports from 2000 to 2019. The results showed that the attractive global market price for gold, the cumbersome mechanism for granting licenses to small-scale miners, lack of job opportunities, and invasion of foreign nationals in small-scale mining, were factors responsible for the intensity of the activity. The study noted further that relentless media campaign against the activity from 2017 yielded positive governmental response and some success in the fight against the activity. The study recommends sustained efforts by all stakeholders to maintain public interest against the fight to enhance a more responsible mining.