Projects Mining & Community Research

Proposal for Improving Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining in Ghana - Role of Professional Engineers

Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) has been a major contributor to socioeconomic development of Ghana. It provides employment and income to many local population in areas where the mining occurs. In 2013 and 2014, ASM contributed more than 30% of total gold production in Ghana and has been the only diamond producer since 2008.

However, as a result of lack of proper mining technology and improper processing techniques, the diggers recover only about 30% of gold from excavated materials, losing a significant portion to the tailings stream. Additionally, the mining activities are inundated with unsafe acts and conditions resulting in fatalities, injuries and environmental pollution (or damage). We partly attribute these issues to lack of participation by professional engineers, as the ASM sector is largely operated by unskilled workforce.

Thus, this project looks at how professional engineers could be involved in ASM to improve operations, mitigate environmental issues and ensure sustainability in the sector.