Ghana's wildcat gold miners are doomed by their toxic trade

Section:

By Tim Cocks and David Lewis
Reuters
Wednesday, July 24, 2019

BAWDIE, Ghana -- A few years after coming as a teenager to this Ghanaian town to prospect for gold, Yaw Ngoha had made enough cash to marry his sweetheart and build a house with a porch, to which he would later add a flat-screen TV and satellite dish.

So when a town elder invited a doctor to talk to miners about the hazards of wildcat mining, "nobody listened," said the 36-year-old, sitting on a wooden bench on his porch in a lush banana grove.

"We needed money."

... Dispatch continues below ...



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Since Ngoha started prospecting in the early 2000s, more and more people like him have helped Ghana grow into Africa's biggest gold producer. Across the continent and beyond, millions have turned to the trade. Few are deterred by the risks.

Ngoha's friends and family members started to sicken and die, but he told himself this had nothing to do with the amount of dust they'd been breathing in or the toxins -- including mercury and nitric acid -- they used to extract the gold. ...

... For the remainder of the report:

https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/gold-africa-poison/

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