Colonialism, Neocolonialism and Gold Mining in Ghana: A Social Justice and Common Good Perspective

Samuel A. Ntewusu | Ghana

Colonialism, Neocolonialism and Gold Mining in Ghana: A Social Justice and Common Good Perspective

Colonialism is one of the major events in the history of Africa. By the end of the nineteenth century, most of present-day Africa had been carved out among the major European powers as colonies and this was to last till the mid-twentieth century for most states. Whilst some scholars have described colonialism in Africa as ephemeral, others have labelled it as the most defining moment in Africa’s history. The reasons for the establishment of colonial rule in Africa and its impact on Africa’s development or underdevelopment have been the subject of debate by historians. Among the key questions are economic, social, ideological and political factors that accounted for the colonization of Africa. In this presentation, I discuss colonialism and neo-colonialism using Ghana as a case study. I will discuss the economic factors that determined the colonization of Ghana’s natural resources. I will argue that in the past and present colonial and neocolonial structures have led to the domination and control of natural resources, the effect of which was and still is the subjection of most people in Ghana to poverty, unemployment and debasement of their human essence. The presentation will conclude that in the name of justice and the common good, colonial and neocolonial structures that enabled the continuous exploitation of natural resources need to be reversed to ensure equity in development.

Key Words: Gold Coast, Ghana, colonialism, neocolonialism, mining, Ashanti, Kingdom


Globally, natural resources both renewable and non-renewable are part of the wealth of a nation. Natural resources have been extracted by countries including Ghana for several centuries.[1] From the precolonial period to the present the extractive industry remained an important activity in Ghana. Ghana was and still is a centre for mineral resource extraction, including, gold, diamonds, bauxite, manganese, and iron ore. Beyond these minerals other extractive resources that were discovered, including tin, oil reserves, limestone and granite.[2] The last three did not generate significant interest at the time of colonialism. Instead, gold, the mineral in focus in this paper, was the most significant resource that was sought after.

The paper adopts a historical analysis to explain how colonialism, decolonisation and neo-colonialism impacted on the extraction of gold vis-à-vis social justice and the common good in Ghana. I consider social justice to be that which is concerned about fairness in relations between individuals in society and equal access to wealth, opportunities and social privileges.[3] I will borrow the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy’s definition of the common good which refers to facilities whether material, cultural or institutional that the members of a community provide to all members in order to fulfil a relational obligation and to care for certain interests that they have in common.[4] The paper is chronologically arranged into three periods – precolonial, colonial and post-colonial – with an introduction and a conclusion. Each period provides unique perspectives on gold mining and social justice and the common good.

Precolonial mining and issues of social justice

Gold mining in Ghana has been ongoing for several years now. The importance of gold and gold mining are reflected in its colonial name, “Gold Coast”. Gold has always been priced as a valuable commodity due to the importance people attach to it. It is an ornament and valued also as currency. It is its value as an ornament and currency that drew many ethnic groups in Ghana into alluvial mining before the arrival of Europeans, beginning with the Portuguese in the year 1471.[5] Gold was mined from hills and estuaries. Men, women, girls and boys would go to the seashore to pan for gold whenever there was heavy rainfall.[6] Tools such as hoes, axes, calabash and many more were widely used for the exploitation of mineral deposits in the Gold Coast.

Precolonial mining had within it issues of equity, social justice and the common good. Everyone within the community had access to the mineral resources. Families could not have monopolized auriferous areas for their sole benefit. The chief and community members ensured that wealth accumulation based on gold was monitored and democratized. When gold nuggets (Sika po, mpokowa and nsanma in Twi) were found they were immediately given to the ruler or traditional priest of the area.[7] The chief or traditional priest kept the nugget for the public good of the community. Apart from nuggets, chiefs also got remunerated through entitlement to some gold that was dug on his/her land.[8] As already noted, the more nuggets a chief or traditional priest kept the greater financial security and respectability of that community and their chief, especially in relation to other communities in that area. This was perfectly exemplified by the respectability that was given to areas with rich deposits of gold such as Denkyira, Asante, Wassa, Akyem, and Gonja, among others. In the same manner, pledges made at the shrines for productive and reproductive purposes were redeemed using gold. Since shrines were mostly community property the accumulation of gold at the shrines was not the property of the traditional priests but was also used for the common good of society. Essentially, during the pre-colonial period wealth based on gold mining was well contained within communities and was central to the articulation of community, ethnic and royal prestige. From the discussions so far it is evident that during the precolonial period mining went hand in hand with social justice and common good. The principle of sustainable development was an integral part of mining. Mining was about meeting locally-defined social, environmental, and economic goals over the long term. Interactions between the mine and community added value to the physical, financial and human resources available. This cumulative way of doing things was to change for good following colonialism and the years after.

Colonial rule, mining and the human essence

In 1471 the Portuguese arrived on the coast of the Gold Coast. The area where they landed was traditionally called Anunumsa. But the Portuguese found a lot of gold being mined and sold by the people there. They called the place d’Amina which means the mine. The name d’Amina got corrupted to Elmina. From Elmina the Portuguese started trading in gold dust at the mouth of the Pra River. Eleven years later, in 1482, they built, 20 miles farther east, their great fortress of Elmina.[9] The abundance of gold found precipitated the influx of several other European powers including the Dutch, Danes, and British to the Gold Coast in search of gold and also to engage in other trading activities.

By 1873 almost all European nations except Britain had left the Gold Coast. But by 1874, the British as the only country left on the coast began moves to conquer the interior of the Gold Coast and extend their rule there. This intent was emboldened by the conference in Berlin in 1885, which finally facilitated the partition of Africa of which Ghana became the prime possession of Britain. In part, the colonization of Ghana was due to its natural resources and in particular gold. Already in the first and second decades of the 1800s Britain had encouraged some of her nationals to venture into the interior of Ghana and make available information on the resources that were found there. A typical example was the mission that was dispatched from Cape Coast, a town located in the coastal region of Ghana in 1819 to Ashanti in the interior of Ghana. The instruction that was given to the mission was as follows:

They should collect the most accurate information possible of the extent, population, and resources of the Ashantee dominions, and should report fully their opinion of the inhabitants, and of the progress they may have made in the arts of civilized life. They should be directed also, to procure and bring away (with the consent of the chiefs) any specimens of vegetable and mineral productions they may be able: and to ascertain where and how the natives collect the gold, and the extent to which the trade in that article, and in ivory, might be carried on.[10]


Several of such missions by the British raised the suspicion of potential takeover of lands and resources in Ghana. Such suspicion triggered pan-ethnic consciousness against the establishment of colonialism because they wanted to protect their gold and other resources for the common good. But the determination to establish colonial rule led to several wars especially with Ashanti. For some of the British soldiers, the incentive for participating in pre-colonial wars was the gold nuggets they could accumulate during the wars.[11] A notable injustice in these wars was the sending into exile of the Asante (Ashanti) King Prempeh I, his family and other Asante nobles to the Seychelles Island in 1897. Their deportation made it easier for gold concessions to be ratified by the British government.[12]

Following the extension of British rule into the interior of Ghana, mining and mining rights were altered. From 1902 the mining and distribution of gold was no longer in the hands of indigenous miners. Joseph Chamberlain, British businessman and politician, in his confidential dispatch of 7th February 1902 to the Governor of the Gold Coast, now Ghana, titled ‘Mineral Rights Ordinance of the Northern Territories’, vested mineral rights in the Northern Territories in the British crown.[13] The Ordinance was part of the general policies that arose as a result of the Anglo-Boer war of 1899-1902 which affected British mining concerns in South Africa. That Ordinance enabled the colonial administration, rather than chiefs, to grant concessions to miners and mining firms. A few years after the order from Chamberlain a general Minerals Ordinance of 1936 was passed which vested all mineral lands in the Gold Coast, in the British Crown. Formally and officially, chiefs, traditional rulers and earth priests had been alienated from matters related to mining. Emboldened by the ordinances and armed with modern scientific know-how, from 1902 to 1936 there were over four hundred European mining firms prospecting for gold in Ghana with the majority of them being around Tarkwa, Wassa, Obuasi, Ankobra, Konongo, Akyem, Prestea, Bogoso and Bole. Some of the companies included: Gold Coast Main Reef, Marlu Gold Mining Areas Co. Ltd, Ashanti Goldfields Corporation Ltd., Konongo Gold Mine, Amalgamated Banket Areas Ltd., Bibiani Ltd., Ariston Gold Mines, Taquah and Abosso Mines Ltd, Tano Gold Dredging Company, Fanti Consolidated Mines Ltd., Bole Explorations Company Limited, Dokurupe Exploration Company Limited, Consolidated African Selection Trust Limited, Gold Coast Selection Trust Limited, General Mines Investment Limited, Ashanti and Gold Coast Mining Corporation Limited, West African Treatment Company, West African Diamonds Syndicate and many more.[14] Essentially, the advent of colonialism and the introduction of modern scientific mining in Ghana during the last decade of the nineteenth century enabled European mining companies to gain control over the mining industry.

The presence of several European miners triggered social injustice and inequality in Ghana. First, arable lands were taken from communities and farmers and given to the companies to mine. Such lands ranged from 26,000 square feet to about 72,000 square feet, and in some cases, concessions covered several miles. For example, in 1896 against the principles of the common good, Ashanti Goldfields Corporation Ltd. was given 259 square kilometres (100 miles) by the British government for mining. In most cases, mining concessions had geological features such as rocks, bare ground and rivers.[15] The giving of concessions meant that companies got gold for export and the colonial administration also generated revenue through processing mining rights, mining licenses, leases granted and charges on the exploitation of wood for fuel, construction and industrial use.[16]

The allocation of areas with rocks and rivers meant that members of a particular community could not have the free access that they use to have. In some cases, such rivers and rocks housed important deities that were critical as far as ritual practices were concerned. Spiritual life and social justice was thereby compromised. Additional injustice included how, instead of compensation, the colonial administration introduced the payment of royalties. The intention for introducing royalties is not a bad idea since it was supposed to serve the common good of communities where mining took place. But the irony was that by such arrangements chiefs and not farmers got paid for their lands. Such an arrangement became possible because of the altering of the traditional governance system following the introduction of the indirect rule system where chiefs were considered critical in British administration and were supposed to implement policies from and for colonial administrators. The royalties paid were just five percent of the total revenue earned from mining operations per annum and not based on the physical gold that was exploited. Since royalties were a fraction of the total value of gold mined and exported and in the worst case only paid to chiefs through their traditional councils, communities felt royalties did not meet the basic requirements of social justice and the common good. This was evidenced by the protests that took place against unfair treatment by mining concessions, especially their refusal to pay compensations directly to farmers who had lost their farmlands due to the mining activities. But such protests did not achieve the desired results because the response was that the revenue generated from mining was used for the common good through the development of infrastructure such as roads and portable water.[17] The fundamental truth is that mining areas at the time of colonialism did not receive the needed infrastructural attention that they so deserved.

Apart from social injustice arising out of compensation, there were some labour-related problems. Mining concerns depended on the colonial administration for recruitment of labour to the mines. Such recruitments often brought in social injustice. For the sake of the mines and cocoa farms the colonial administration as a policy designated the Northern part of Ghana as a ‘labour reserve’ from which labour to the mines was drawn. Colonial administrators often embarked on recruitment exercises in the north for the mines. In 1906 a British official on a recruitment mission in the north had this to say in a meeting with the chiefs:

Chiefs should allow some of their intelligent sons to go to the Mines and a Whiteman will show them the work and the houses they live in and they can see that the natives had good food and get well treated….at the Mines, is a good Whiteman as Commissioner to whom all complaints can be made as you do here. I want to impress on you that it is for your own good I want your young men to go and work so that they may return to you with money and enable you to buy cattle and good clothes and have things in your houses which at present you have not the money to buy.[18]


Following that recruitment drive, several young men from the north were sent to the south to work in the mines. The estimates were that twelve thousand migrant labourers were available to the Tarkwa mining companies collectively. A similar number was required in all the major mining towns.[19] The campaign for recruitment was just an addition to the ‘master and servant ordinance’ enacted by the colonial administration in the later part of the 1800s to regulate labour recruitment to the mines.[20] Rather than regulate labour, the ‘master and servant’ ordinance led to physical, emotional and mental abuses in the mines by Superintending officers at the mines. For example, unannounced and random visits by the police to the mines revealed physical abuses, use of offensive and insulting language and other crimes in mines by European supervisors against African labourers. In the first decade of the 1900s such abuses became rampant and drew in the governor, Secretary for Native Affairs and other officials into affairs of the mines. Extracts from one of the labourers by the name of Basomah with Tag No. 6909 during an inquisition is worth repeating here:

When we were at work the Whiteman told us to push a truck and we were flogged by him (He shows the marks). This was four days ago. He made me bend down and he gave me the two lower marks and broke my left armlet with a piece of wood. The highest cut was given me by the headman. I can show the man. Whiteman flogged us and headman flog us and I can point them out. Whiteman (Mr. Gwyther) who gives us chop and sissy money put some men for ground and flogged them. He flogged one man six strokes with a shambok a man called Bugheeg. People held him down. The next two men came from Yarba near Gambaga. The next man had twelve lashes with the shambok but he not held down. He ran way that night.[21]

The recruitment to the mines disturbed the social and economic order in communities. As the male youth left for the mines, women and children were the only labour left to till the land. There exists some evidence that some of the migrant labour returned home to cultivate land but this was largely limited to a few. Inability to cultivate large farms affected sustenance and capital accumulation. The legacy was and still is the widening economic and development gap between the north and south of the country.

Work in the mines was not entirely economically viable as was imagined. In the first place labour movements to the mines led to death mainly arising out of starvation, sicknesses, and exhaustion. For example, in 1931 the District Commissioner for Gonja district reported as follows:

There have been several deaths from starvation reported. This occurred among labour moving along the road. If they developed sore foot or are otherwise incapacitated from walking they lied [sic] down anywhere besides [sic] the road and are subsequently found dead or dying of starvation. The local people report these cases but generally not until it is too late, as the unfortunate are not noticed until they are in extremis.[22]

Secondly, the economic situation of some labourers was worsened as a result of work in the mines. And for those workers who fell sick, especially of tuberculosis, their contract was terminated immediately and they were discharged to return to their home towns. For fear of spread of diseases, they often were not given transport and often mine labourers had to make the journey on foot back home with several dying on the way before arriving home. By and large, at the time of colonialism, mining served the purpose of the colonial establishment but it did not offer the needed social justice and the common good that pre-colonial Ghana experienced.

Decolonization, Neo-colonialism and post-independence mining in Ghana

Ghana gained independence in 1957, technically bringing to an end eighty-three years of British colonialism. The attainment of independence meant that the Ghanaian State and not Britain had control over mining and mining rights. This became necessary due to the recommendation of a commission of enquiry into the mining sector set up by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of the Republic of Ghana. Under the auspices of the State Mining Corporation, formed in 1961, and in the interest of social justice and the common good, the state took control of all existing mining companies, except for the Ashanti Goldfield Corporation (AGC) in Obuasi.[23] After decolonization, labour relations in the Ghanaian mines were excellent. The abuses that Europeans visited on their mine workers reduced to the barest minimum and strikes were remarkably infrequent. This in part was because the bulk of the workforce supported Nkrumah and his Convention Peoples Party (CPP). This was not surprising, since in early 1961 Nkrumah had taken over operating gold mines in the country, in response to their threatened closure because of declining profits, thus saving thousands of mineworkers’ jobs.[24] But by 1965 the leadership of the mining union lost virtually all control over the workers leading to strikes and unrests. Such occurrences led to an increasing necessity for the state to intervene, often in its most repressive form, to put down the insistent revolts of the mineworkers. In essence, decolonization itself had a way of disturbing social justice through the abuse of the rights of mine workers. The only difference is that whereas under colonialism it was the mining companies themselves that abused their workers, post-independence governments rather used law enforcement agencies, such as the police and the army, to do so.[25]

In discussing issues of social justice and the common good in mining in Ghana, one cannot come to a conclusion without recourse to the role of neocolonialism, especially from the 1980s to the present. In the 1980s, there was the consideration that mining was driven by the global paradigm which emphasizes private sector-led development as the engine of economic recovery in developing countries. That was indeed the thrust of the Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAP) as prescribed for developing countries by the World Bank and allied institutions since the early 1980s.

In these economic programmes, African countries with important mining sectors were obliged to shift their policy emphasis towards a primary objective of maximizing tax revenue from mining over the long term rather than pursuing other economic or political objectives such as control of resources or enhancement of employment. According to the World Bank, this primary objective could only be achieved by a new division of labour whereby governments focus on industry regulation and promotion, while private companies take the lead in operating, managing and owning mineral enterprises. Several reforms were suggested by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for reorganizing the economy. Among them was the liberalization of the mining industry.[26] The reforms fall perfectly in the domain of neocolonialism – which is the use of economic, political, cultural or other pressures to control or influence other countries.

The neocolonial reforms in the industry enabled many expatriate companies to acquire concessions to mine for gold in Ghana, and also gave more access and power to already existing mining companies. such as RedBack Mining Limited, Shea Gold Limited, St. Jude Resources. AngloGold Ashanti, Newmont, Gold Fields, Abosso Goldfields Ltd, Axim Inc, Birim Goldfields Inc., Chirano Gold Mine, Sandvik Mining, Shaaanxi Mining Company and Cassius Mining Company among others. In most cases the gold and profits arising out of mining are repatriated back to the countries where the owners of the companies come from, leaving the country with little profits from mining activities. It is a fact that most of the areas where foreign companies mine in Ghana are least developed and road networks to the mining sites are in a deplorable state. Such an observation makes it difficult to accept that mining companies operate in the interest of communities where they are located. Already, in discussing foreign aid, investment and neocolonialism, Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first president, had indicated that the natural resources industry was one of the areas where one could find neocolonialism at play in Africa. He observed that foreign investments from capitalist countries were drawn with a plan to ensure that whatever interest foreign investors received, such interest was repatriated, leaving little for education, strengthening the bargaining power of their workers, or challenging the colonial pattern of commerce and industry which was and still is the object of neo-colonialism to preserve.[27]

The operations of these mining firms compromise societal existence in many ways. Intensive mining has led to relocations and resettlements of communities around Tarkwa, Obuasi, Axim and Abosso. Such relocations have very negative consequences on the cultural heritage of the communities, since they are distanced from their ancestral link and heritage and their indigenous knowledge systems truncated.

Additionally, there is evidence of increasing deaths, injuries, health and safety risks associated with operations of mining companies in Ghana. Dams created to hold waste water from the mines have become breeding grounds for mosquitoes and flies. Evidence exists that in some of the mining sites the incidence of malaria has increased. Mining activities have also led to increase in Buruli ulcer cases. Giving the specific example of Newmont Ghana, a subsidiary of Newmont USA, on Saturday 7th April 2018 six construction workers were killed in an accident at a mine operated by Newmont Mining Corporation at Ahafo Kenyasi. In 2009 some amount of cyanide solution was released into the external environment causing damage to aquatic life and plants, leading to a fine of the company of 7 million dollars. In 2008 and 2009 the same company had a small boy and a lady knocked down and killed by their vehicle while injuring others. In 2005 two men were drowned in Newmont’s water storage facility in the Ahafo mine.[28]

Shaanxi a Chinese company in Bolgatanga unleashed social injustice by displacing 527 farmers and destroying 3,000 economic and medicinal trees which are critical to livelihoods of the community. Traditional political systems in the area have also been abused. For example, the rights and powers of the tindana (earth priest) who is supposed to perform traditional rites to pacify the land have been curtailed because there is no land for him to perform the rites. Even at the time of negotiations for the acquisition of land which covers over 747 acres he was not consulted.[29]

Apart from abuse of cultural and traditional protocols involving land, explosives from mining companies have caused a lot of deaths in Ghana. Such explosives, whether at the site of mining, underground or when the materials are in transit to mining sites from the factory or port, have caused so much havoc to human lives and the environment. Shaanxi, a Chinese mining company operating in Talensi, the northern part of Ghana, reportedly blasted chlorine underground in 2013 and 2019 to deliberately eliminate young men who they claim were trespassing on the Chinese mine to scrape a living from accumulated gold dust. Sixteen men died after inhaling the toxic chlorine gas in 2019 and dozens had already been killed in the area in a similar manner in 2013.[30] The killing of innocent youth was as a result of a 272-million dollar mining turf war between an Australian mining company, Cassius Mining, and the Chinese mining company in the area. Each company accused the other of crossing their boundaries allocated to them. A matter which has made Cassius file a case with an international arbitration court in London. While finality is yet to be brought to the dispute, families of those killed by the explosions are yet to receive any compensation or care from the mining company or the Ghanaian state.

In the same manner in January 2022 a vehicle that was carrying explosives to a gold mining site at Bogosu collided with a motorcycle at a community called Apeate. Seventeen people died, fifty-nine people got injured, five hundred houses destroyed and three thousand and three hundred displaced.[31]

The greatest social injustice and disservice to the common good is the destruction of the environment by mining activities in Ghana. There are many environmental problems and challenges associated with mining which stem from the contamination of, as well as competition for, surface and groundwater. Water contamination from mining activities results from the discharge of effluents, which contain toxic chemicals such as cyanide and other organic chemicals used in the processing of mineral ores. These chemicals together may result in effluent with high acid levels which can either seep into underground water or flow into surface water bodies posing danger to the several communities, especially those that depend on such water bodies for drinking and other domestic purposes. For several years the leaching of heavy metal oxides such as lead and zinc oxides, have seeped into surface and underground water bodies and destroyed aquatic life.[32] High arsenic, manganese, mercury and lead were found in the drinking water of communities around mining areas. Such mining-related chemical poisoning poses health challenges. Inhalation of mercury vapor could cause memory and speech loss, numbness, vision problems, convulsion and death. Whiles lead poisoning could cause anaemia, weakness, constipation, palsy, and reduction of intelligence among children, among others. Soil surfaces and forests have also been destroyed, thereby affecting bio-diversity.[33]

Over the years communities have attempted to bring back the pre-colonial order in mining which they felt ensured social justice. They seek permission from chiefs and not the State to engage in mining. Incidentally, their activities are criminalized and they are vilified with disparaging words and terms such as ‘illegal miners’ or galamsey operators. Indeed, with the support of the media, the state regards them as criminals and their arrest by the police and soldiers leads to physical torture, and jail terms. Forced by inability to take over lands and increasing poverty levels due to the confiscation of their lands by foreign mining companies, some communities have teamed up with the galamsey operators to attack mining companies operating in their communities. For example, Golden Star Wassa Limited was forced to suspend its operations at the Benso site in the Western Region for the next three months following attacks on the company by so-called illegal miners. In the attack twelve vehicles, including an ambulance, were burnt. One person died out of the clashes between the mine workers and community members, wWhereas four people were severely injured.[34]


Ghana, from colonial times to the present, has become the stomping ground of the colonial and neocolonial forces that seek the domination of the country through mining. From the north of the country to the south, foreign mining companies, usually of American, Chinese, British, South African and Australian ownership, with support from their home governments or finance from international financial institutions, seem to have taken over lands and river systems to mine. A profile of the mining companies reveals that social justice and the common good have been compromised. In the precolonial period, mining was for purposes of the common good. Chiefs and traditional rulers kept the land and natural resources in trust for the entire community. Colonialism changed such traditional arrangements by vesting lands rich in minerals in the British Crown. Such an arrangement disempowered communities as far as mining was concerned. They had no rights over their resources, and several people under the Master and Servant Ordinance were converted to indentured labourers to work in the mines. The decolonization of Ghana only occurred at a political and not an economic level. In the first place the laws of Ghana were never changed to hand over resources to chiefs and traditional rulers. The continuous application of colonial laws on natural resources is reflected in the way and manner concessions are given by the state and not chiefs. The lack of knowledge of the traditions and protocols on mining by foreign companies has often led to the abuse of cultural systems and practices that in the past ensured community justice, common good and equity. Instances where communities protest foreign mining companies or the state for taking wrong decisions, the police and army are sent to brutalise civilians.

The continuous involvement of institutions such as the IMF and World Bank and other financial institutions in decisions involving mining seem to work against issues of justice and the common good. From a social, economic and environmental point of view, the current trends in mining point to the fact that the prescriptions by the World Bank and IMF on mining hold little promise for any significant and sustainable economic growth and cannot ensure the needed social justice or the common good,  most especially as more of the wealth generated from mining is repatriated by the giant multinational companies in control of the continent’s mineral resources.



Ababio, E.O.M., “Mining in Colonial Ghana: Extractive Capitalism and Its Social Benefits in Akyem Abuakwa under Nana Ofori Atta I”, Africa Today, Vol. 63, No. 1 (2016).

Ababio, E.O.M., “Historical Overview of Traditional and Modern Gold Mining in Ghana”. International Research Journal of Library, Information and Archival Studies (1): (2011).

Allen, G.K., “Gold Mining in Ghana”, African Affairs, Vol. 57, No. 228 (Jul., 1958).

Arhin, K., “Gold-mining and trading among the Ashanti of Ghana”, Journal des Africanistes, vol. 48, No. 1 (1978).

Ayensu, S.E., Ashanti Gold: The African Legacy of the World’s most precious metal. (London: Marshall Editions Development Ltd, 1997).

Ayelazuno, J., “Continuous Primitive Accumulation In Ghana: The Real-Life Stories of Dispossessed Peasants In Three Mining Communities”, Review of African Political Economy, Vol. 38, No. 130 (December 2011).

Bourret, F.M. The Gold Coast; A Survey of the Gold Coast and British Togoland 1919-1946 (California: Stanford University Press, 1949).

Bowditch, T.E., Mission from Cape Coast Castle to Ashantee: with statistical account of that kingdom and geographical notices of other parts of the interior of Africa. (London: John Murray, 1819).

Duncan, A.E., “The Dangerous Couple: Illegal Mining and Water Pollution – A Case Study in Fena River in the Ashanti Region of Ghana”, Hindawi (2020).

Hilson, G.M, “Structural Adjustment in Ghana: Assessing the Impacts of Mining Sector Reform”, Africa Today, Vol. 51, No. 2 (Winter, 2004).

Nkrumah, K., Neocolonialism the Last Stage of Imperialism (London: Panaf 1970).

Silver, J., “Class Struggles in Ghana's Mining”, Review of African Political Economy, No. 12, Mining (May-Aug., 1978).

Waheed, H., “The Common Good”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2018 Edition).

Public Records and Archives Administration Department PRAAD, Tamale, NRG 8/23/24, Minerals, 1942.

PRAAD, Tamale, NRG 8/23/10, Prospecting Rights (Gold Coast Selection Trust), 1938-41.

PRAAD, Tamale, NRG 8/8/23/9, The Minerals Ordinance, 1938; PRAAD, Tamale, NRG 8/23/16, Application for prospecting rights, 1938; PRAAD, Tamale, NRG 8/23/17, Exclusive Prospecting license, 1938-1941.

PRAAD, Tamale, NRG 8/23/23, Prospecting Rights, 1940.

PRAAD, Tamale, NRG 8/23/20, Housing and Sanitation at Dokrupe, 1939-1940.

PRAAD, Accra, ADM/56/1/84 Speech of CCNT, 1906.

PRAAD, Tamale, NRG 8/17/1, Mine Labour.

PRAAD, Accra, ADM 29/1/85, Draft Rules for mining labour, by L.E.V. M’Carthy, 1934.

PRAAD, Tamale, NRG 8/17/1, Mines Labour.

PRAAD, Tamale, NRG 8/3/42, Census Report, 1931.


  1. Ghana was called the Gold Coast. The name Ghana came into vogue following the attainment of independence in 1957 from Britain. The name Gold Coast or Ghana will be used interchangeably in this paper, but both names refer to the same country.
  2. Bourret, F.M. The Gold Coast; A Survey of the Gold Coast and British Togoland 1919-1946 (California: Stanford University Press, 1949), 10.
  3. What is social justice? Retrieved 5/30/2023
  4. Waheed, H., “The Common Good”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2018 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.). 
  5. Ababio, E.O.M., “Mining in Colonial Ghana: Extractive Capitalism and Its Social Benefits in Akyem Abuakwa under Nana Ofori Atta I”, Africa Today, Vol. 63, No. 1 (2016), 25.
  6. Ababio, E.O.M., “Historical Overview of Traditional and Modern Gold Mining in Ghana”. International Research Journal of Library, Information and Archival Studies 1 (1): (2011), 009.
  7. Arhin, K., “Gold-mining and trading among the Ashanti of Ghana”, Journal des Africanistes, vol 48, No.1 (1978), 91.
  8. Ayensu, S.E., Ashanti Gold: The African Legacy of the World’s Most Precious Metal (London: Marshall Editions Development Ltd, 1997), 71.
  9. Allen, G.K., “Gold Mining in Ghana”, African Affairs, Vol. 57, No. 228 (Jul., 1958), 221.
  10. Bowditch, T.E., Mission from Cape Coast Castle to Ashantee: with statistical account of that kingdom and geographical notices of other parts of the interior of Africa (London: John Murray, 1819), 6.
  11. Ayensu, S.E., Ashanti Gold, 10.
  12. Ayensu, S.E., Ashanti Gold, 12.
  13. Public Records and Archives Administration Department (Hereafter, PRAAD), Tamale, NRG 8/23/24, Minerals, 1942.
  14. PRAAD, Tamale, NRG 8/23/10, Prospecting Rights (Gold Coast Selection Trust), 1938-41. G. Keith Allen, Gold Mining in Ghana, p. 224.
  15. PRAAD, Tamale, NRG 8/8/23/9, The Minerals Ordinance, 1938; PRAAD, Tamale, NRG 8/23/16, Application for prospecting rights, 1938; PRAAD, Tamale, NRG 8/23/17, Exclusive Prospecting license, 1938-1941.
  16. PRAAD, Tamale, NRG 8/23/23, Prospecting Rights, 1940.
  17. PRAAD, Tamale, NRG 8/23/20, Housing and Sanitation at Dokrupe, 1939-1940.
  18. PRAAD, Accra, ADM/56/1/84 Speech of CCNT, 1906.
  19. PRAAD, Tamale, NRG 8/17/1, Mine Labour.
  20. PRAAD, Accra, ADM 29/1/85, Draft Rules for mining labour, by L.E.V. M’Carthy, 1934.
  21. PRAAD, Tamale, NRG 8/17/1, Mines Labour.
  22. PRAAD, Tamale, NRG 8/3/42, Census Report, 1931.
  23. Ayelazuno, J., “Continuous Primitive Accumulation In Ghana: The Real-Life Stories Of Dispossessed Peasants In Three Mining Communities”, Review of African Political Economy, Vol. 38, No. 130 (December 2011), 539.
  24. Silver, J., “Class Struggles in Ghana’s Mining”, Review of African Political Economy, No. 12, Mining (May-Aug., 1978), 68.
  25. Silver, J., “Class Struggles in Ghana’s Mining Industry”, 67.
  26. Hilson, G.M, “Structural Adjustment in Ghana: Assessing the Impacts of Mining Sector Reform”, Africa Today, Vol. 51, No. 2 (Winter, 2004), 63.
  27. Nkrumah, K., Neocolonialism the Last Stage of Imperialism (London: Panaf 1970), xv.
  28. BREAKING: Six Workers Killed in Newmont Mining Accident in Ghana | Global Greengrants Fund. Retrieved 10/04/2023.
  29. Jim Pollard, China’s Shaanxi Mining in Deadly Gold Mine Dispute in Ghana – SMH (, 10/04/2023.
  30. China’s Shaanxi Mining in Deadly Gold Mine Dispute in Ghana – SMH ( 10/04/2023.
  31. Ghana: Explosion in Apeate – Jan 2022 | ReliefWeb, retrieved 10/04/2023.
  32. Duncan, A.E., “The Dangerous Couple: Illegal Mining and Water Pollution – A Case Study in Fena River in the Ashanti Region of Ghana”, Hindawi (2020),1.
  33. Yeboah, K., Western Region Rivers Polluted by Mining Activities. Daily Graphic News Paper, March 28, 2012. Retrieved 10/4/2023.
  34. Adu-Owusu, P., Attack on Golden Star Wassa: Company suspends operation at Benso, 24 March 2023

See also Golden Star Wassa suspends operations at Benso – The Business & Financial Times ( March 24, 2023 Issue. Retrieved 10/04/2023.