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Pollution from Gold Mining Causes Detrimental Effects in Ghana

Posted on 03/05/2013

In their IGC-funded paper researchers Fernando M Aragon of Simon Fraser University and Juan Pablo Rud of Royal Holloway, University of London have found that gold mining and its pollution has caused detrimental effects in Ghana, resulting in;

  • A 40% reduction in agricultural productivity
  • An 18% increase in poverty in mining areas affecting not only agricultural workers, but normal households too
  • A greater concentration of nitrogen dioxide (N02) in mining areas than non-mining area causing a negative impact on yields and on health. Some of Ghana’s mines have been red-flagged due to their failure to comply with environmental standards by Ghana’s own Environmental Protection Agency.
  • An increase in child malnutrition and respiratory diseases as an outcome of the pollution
  • And higher agricultural losses to farmers in comparison to the tax receipts generated by mining activity

As one of the top producers of gold in the world, gold mining in Ghana and the effects of it have led to a direct impact on rural income and living standards highlighting calls for mining tax bills to be higher than the total losses of the affected agricultural workers and distributed in a fair way, and for mining companies to reduce their environmental impact to minimise pollution.

As a result of the findings, Professor Aragon and Professor Rud have been invited by the IGC office in Ghana to attend a dissemination event with local academics and policy makers in the summer. 
Click here for the full paper.


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