We made site visits and conducted interviews with diggers to determine potential environmental
issues caused by artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) in the Tarkwa Mining Area (TMA) of Ghana.
Activities of the diggers were observed to cause soil degradation and water and noise pollution.
Improper handling of mercury was also identified as a major threat to people and ecosystem. Large
abandoned pits and trenches posed fall traps to farmers, hunters and wildlife.
We argue that lack of
adequate monitoring and regulatory enforcement by Ghanaian authorities, together with inappropriate
mining processes, probably due to lack of technical expertise are contributing factors to the
environmental issues of artisanal and small-scale mining in the TMA.