Ghana’s Mahama to ‘Chase Out’ Illegal Foreign Gold Miners

Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama said a security task force will halt the operations of illegal foreign gold miners that are polluting water bodies in Africa’s second-biggest producer of the metal.

“I want to warn those foreigners and their local collaborators that we are going to chase them out,” Mahama was quoted as saying in an e-mailed statement from the Information Ministry today.

Ghana is facing an influx of illegal small-scale miners mainly from China as global gold prices climb amid economic uncertainty in Europe. Residents of villages where the mining takes place have raised concern about environmental damage, especially to water bodies.

The Daboase water treatment plant in the Western region currently supplies less than 2.5 million gallons a day instead of an expected 6 million gallons because of heavy pollution and siltation by illegal miners, according to the ministry’s statement.

Two naval officers drowned on Feb. 23 as they tried to clear illegal miners who were operating on the Pra river in the area, the statement said.

To contact reporter on this story: Ekow Dontoh in Accra at +233-302-258-797 or edontoh@bloomberg.net.

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