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Dealing with Galamsey and Small-scale Mining on Concessions of Multinational Mining Companies in Ghana: “a Compromise or Confrontation”
About This Study
This paper tries to look at the composition of Ghana’s mining industry which is made up of two sectors which are the galamsey and small-scale mining and the Large-Scale mining sectors. In the last couple of years, there has been a high response to the increasing price of gold both sectors that is the galamsey and small-scale miners and the multinational mining companies. This has led to the expansion of their activities and the exploitation of lower grade deposits and other minerals. The result of this has been tensions and conflicts between the two sectors for access to gold rich lands. The purpose of this study is to critically examine the increase activities of galamsey and small-scale mining on concessions of multinational mining companies in Ghana and how this has led to an increasing conflict and a strained relationship between the two sectors. Also, it will look at the nature of relationship existing between the two sectors in the various mining communities in Ghana. Even though, people perceived the activities of galamsey and small-scale sector as illegal and causes a lot of damage to the environment, its economic significance to the development of rural economies cannot be overlooked. At the end of the study we will see the need to find a sustainable solution in dealing with these problems.
Type of instrument
Semi-structured interview is the instrument chosen for this study. My reason instrument for the study is due to the nature of the target group being dealt with. The target group of the study will involve a lot more of semi-literates and illiterates than literates and it will mostly be in rural mining communities.
The purpose of this study is to critically examine the increase activities of galamsey and small-scale mining on concessions of Multinational mining companies in Ghana and how this has led to an increasing conflict and a strained relationship between the two sectors. Also, it will look at the nature of relationship existing between the two sectors in the various mining companies in Ghana. Even though, people perceived the activities of galamsey and small-scale sector as illegal and causes a lot of damage to the environment, its economic significance to the development of rural economies cannot be overlooked. At the end of the study we will see the need to find a sustainable solution in dealing with these problems.
The target group of this study will be men and women from the galamsey and small-scale mining sectors particularly in the rural areas whose activities conflicts with that of Large-scale mining companies. Places I will be looking includes but not limited Huni-Valley, Damang,Bompieso, Ayanfuri,Manso-Nkran,Abosso.These are rural mining communities where Multinational mining companies have their operations and also active galamsey and small-scale mining is in full force.
A correct sample size in every research is vital for the success of the study. The ‘information power’ as used by (Malterud et al, 2016) in qualitative researches which says, ‘the more information the sample holds, relevant for the actual study, the lower number of participants is needed’, can be applied here. Therefore, for a population of about 500,000 galamsey and small-scale mining workers, 500 participants will be used in this study over a period of one month.
Benefits of the Study
The study in general will come up with recommendations to assist both the Government and the Companies in finding sustainable solutions to the problems which will lead to an overall improvement in the economic wellbeing of the rural communities.
Administering the questionnaire (interview)
The questionnaire will take the form of a personal interview. This is due to the target group of the study. Many people in the communities are farmers, galamsey and small-scale miners who are semi or complete illiterates. Again, because the galamsey communities are made up of both natives and strangers from different tribes who speak different dialects, there is going to be a barrier in relation to language. Moreover, due to the nature of their businesses, time in terms of duration of the interview will definitely be a problem.
However, in dealing with these challenges, the study will employ the assistance of other local educated people (researchers) from the major tribes who can help in the translation from the various local languages into the English language. Also, the interview questions will be brief to avoid respondents from walking away.
Permission will also be sought from participants to use a recorder for capturing the interview. Many probing and follow-up question methods will be used in the interview whenever necessary to obtain detailed information from respondents. Non-verbal gestures and feedbacks techniques will be applied as well.
An instrument such as interview questions (questionnaire) must be well developed to attain essential information needed for a study from participants and piloting assists in the determination of uncertainties, Gillham (2008). Therefore, after designing the interview question, piloting will be done by requesting the assistance of about 50 people who will be made to answer the sample questions so as to determine its credibility. Meanwhile, the answers of these questions will not form part of the data collection. According to Gillham (2008), ‘a proper pilot study is one where you simulate the main study’, thus the piloting will be done on the field of the final study. Each interview will take not more than 15 minutes. Critical assessments will be done on how the questions are answered, for example, if the questions are boring, annoying or too sensitive. Nonetheless, response rate and misunderstanding of questions will not be neglected in the critical assessment.
Findings of the piloting procedure will be used to improve the status and nature of the questionnaire.
The Questionnaire (Interview)
This interview takes a few minutes to complete. The purpose of the study is to better understand some of the reasons why people in rural areas do not take an interest in farming but engages in galamsey and small-scale mining, in order to have a better view of the problem and also assist in dealing with galamsey and small-scale mining in concessions of Multinational mining companies in Ghana. The study will involve only people born and raised in rural mining communities in Ghana.
Your involvement in this study is very much needed for the development of our rural areas. Your anonymity and confidentiality are highly assured and there is no punishment whatsoever for your refusal to participate. The interview takes only 5 minutes of your time.
Thanks for your willingness and active participation.
- Marital Status
- Level of education
- Name of hometown
- Are your families in your hometown?
- How many people are dependent on you?
- a. What do you do for a living?
- b. Where do you work?
- What is your work status (full or Part-time)?
- What income range do you make in a month?
- How long have you been living in this town?
1. a. What is your is perception about galamsey and small-scale mining?
b. What will motivate you to engage in Galamsey and small-scale mining?
c. Do u have any plans of engaging in galamsey and small-scale mining?
d. How does galamsey and small-scale mining contribute to the economic development of your community?
e. What is your opinion on the Alternate Livelihood Programs provided by Large-scale mining companies?
2. What are some of the effects of galamsey and small-scale mining on the youth?
3.Do you think Alternative Livelihood Programs are a substitute for galamsey and small-scale mining?
NB: follow-up questions to be asked based on response.
4. a. What can be done to address the problems of galamsey and small-scale mining?
b. What role can government play in addressing this issue?
c. What role can traditional authorities play in addressing this issue?
d.Will you support any attempt by the government to stop galamsey and small-scale mining activities?
5.. What are some of hazards associated with Galamsey and Scale-Scale mining?
6. Do you think large-scale mining companies have the right to complain about the activities of small-scale miners on their concessions?
NB: other follow up questions will come depending on the answers given by the respondents/ interviewee.
- Gillham, B. (2008). Developing a Questionnaire. London: Continuum.
- Malterud, K., Siersma, V. D., & Guassora, A. D. (2016). Sample size in qualitative interview studies: guided by information power. Qualitative health research, 26(13), 1753-1760.
- Teschner, Benjamin, Giants, Government and the Galamsey, The emerging political and economic importance of Ghanaian small-scale mining community,2010.
- Teschner, Benjamin, Ambrose Aidoo, Galamsey and small-scale mining activities on Gold Fields Ghana Projects; Engaging with a semi-formal industry,2012.
- Aubynn, Anthony. “Sustainable solution or marriage of inconvenience? The coexistence of large-scale mining and artisanal mining on the Abosso Gold Fields concession in Western Ghana. “Resource Policy,2009:64-70.
Notes on Terminologies
Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) or small-scale mining sector: These terms refer to all actors in the small-scale gold sector. In this paper, it is used to refer to legal and illegal small-scale miners.
Small-scale Mining/Miners: This refers to miners working on legally registered sites.
Galamsey: This word was derived from a corruption of the English words “Gather and Sell.” This is due to the fact that, they gather the smaller gold nuggets and sell them to registered buyers. It is a term commonly used in Ghanaian language to refer to people working on unregistered sites.
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