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Illegal Gold Mining Case Study

Gold Exports and Cost Implications of Illegal Gold Mining in Ghana
Isaac Ibrahim
School of Economics, Huazhong University of Science and Technology,
Wuhan, China
Email: safarilioncrimson@yahoo.ca

Abstract: Precious commodity as its often called, gold has been a major export commodity and export earner for Ghana. Formally called the Gold Coast due to her large mineral reserves, Ghana has been the second largest producer of gold in Africa and seventh in the world. AngloGold Ashanti is the largest official mining company in Ghana. Along with other large mining companies, they extract, refine and export gold in Ghana. However, due to its lucrative nature, following liberalization, many small scale and mostly illegal gold miners have joined in to mine. Illegal gold mining, known as galamsey in local parlance has many serious implications for the country. This paper uses predominantly, a case study approach to examine the
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1. INTRODUCTION
Located in West Africa, Ghana has often been nicknamed the land of gold. Noted for her large gold deposits, Ghana was formerly called the Gold Coast by the British when they first arrived in the former colony. Ghana, like most modern economies relies heavily on export earnings to develop her economy. Ghanaian exports for the period 2003 to 2016 on average was 1960.80 million US Dollars. Ghanaian exports peaked in 2012 first quarter reaching 4118.30 US Dollars. In the fourth quarter of 2016, exports rose to 3126.10 US Dollars from the third quarter figure of 2872.20 US Dollars.

The main exports of Ghana are timber products, cocoa ,gold; and others such as aluminum, diamonds, manganese, tuna, etc. Cocoa and gold, however stand out amongst the exporting commodities. The mining industry contributes 5% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of which gold accounts for over 90% of all exports of

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