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Africa | 21 June 2024

Legal research on mining in Ghana - Overview and Introduction

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Legal research on mining in Ghana - Overview and Introduction

The mining sector is key in Ghana and it is very likely it will continue to be. In 2022, gold exports from Ghana were valued at approximately $9.53 billion, making it the 13th largest exporter of gold in the world for that year. Gold was the most exported product from Ghana in 2022. The country is also the ninth-largest global diamond producer and eleventh-largest producer of bauxite. Other minerals that are commercially exploited include manganese, kaolin, silica, mica, and clays. Ghana also recently discovered commercial quantities of lithium and is said to be developing lithium mining and processing.

Though the mining sector provides many benefits to the people of Ghana, including the provision of jobs, the generation of foreign revenue as well as the development of mining areas, this sector is also a source of negative impacts on people’s health and on the environment.
Indeed, mining activities, especially illegal ones, have polluted water bodies, impacted air quality and led to deforestation and soil degradation. The pollution of the water and air in host communities lead to many health complications for the people in the area, such as skin diseases, ulcers, respiratory disorders, and other infections borne out of mercury poisoning. In turn, water pollution and soil degradation also affected biodiversity.

In this context, the law has a vital role to play in ensuring that the negative impacts of the sector on the health of Ghanaians and on the environment and biodiversity are minimised, that the rights of local communities are respected and that they participate in the decisions that affect them, and that the mining sector provides real added value to the country in social, economic and environmental terms.
With our Ghanaian partner – TaylorCrabbe Initiative – we have undertaken legal research and drafted four briefings to (i) gain a better understanding of the national legal and institutional frameworks currently regulating mining in Ghana and, to (ii) identify the loopholes and possible governance, legal and policy reform solutions for the sector.

Our briefings cover the following four thematics (linked below):

0. Overview & Introduction
1. Briefing 1 : Mineral Rights Allocation
2. Briefing 2 : Benefit Sharing Arrangements for Mineral Resources in Ghana
3. Briefing 3 : Stakeholder Engagement and Grievance Mechanisms for Mineral Resources in Ghana
4. Briefing 4 : Mining in Forest Reserves - Spotlight on L.I. 2462