A non-profit organization called Development Gold Ghana (DGG), has tested the GOLDKACHA separation process at its responsible mining project site at Adanse North District in the Ashanti Region. The results were encouraging and the technology has been earmarked as a suitable mercury-free alternative to traditional gold panning.
Development Gold Ghana is committed to finding practical solutions that eradicate mercury from the gold extraction process. This innovative process called the GOLDKACHA does not only optimise productivity but also eliminates the possibility of this poisonous toxic chemical being washed into our rivers and streams and thereby contaminating our food supply.
Mercury (Hg) is a potent yet toxic element that allows people around the world to extract gold concentrate during what is called the amalgamation process. Use of Mercury by artisanal and small-scale gold miners accounts for 37% of global mercury emissions (IUCN, 2020), exposing workers to toxic fumes with often detrimental health impacts. Around the world, governments have become signatories of the so-called Minimata Convention – an international agreement banning the use of mercury.
The founder of DGG, Mr. Max Afriyie-Barwuah who was present at the exhibition expressed his joy at a successful demonstration and stated that “Development Gold Ghana is delighted to participate in the preliminary stages of implementing a gold processing system which has the potential to scale up and align local mining practices with ethical standards.”
- What is Development Gold Ghana?
Development Gold Ghana is incorporated as an NGO which exists to create a viable and inclusive mining economy in Ghana by linking international markets with responsible, small-scale gold producers. The initiative shall result in more resilient and sustainable mining communities, transparent and traceable supply chains, and supply-chain assurance for the off-takers of responsible gold. Most of all, it will demonstrate the ability of our nation to show that gold recovery is a positive driver of sustainable development.
By mobilizing resources for investment into responsible, legal, small-scale mining, Development Gold Ghana shall build the capacity of small-scale responsible mining efforts in Ghana.
- Development Gold Roadmap for Ghana: Investment to Impact
Development Gold aims to achieve the following:
- Formalisation and certification of artisanal and small scale gold mining operations (ASGM); demonstrating provenance, traceability and transparency throughout the supply chain
- Remediate and improve environmental management of retired mine sites;
- Restoration of farms and reforestation of degraded land thereby improving food availability and off-setting carbon emissions through sequestration
- Alleviate poverty through job creation and promote alternative livelihoods in the agricultural sector
- Optimise production of responsible gold through the provision of capital equipment
- Invest social premiums, grants and donations into quality education, healthcare and the provision of potable drinking water
- Eradicate mercury use in ASGM and airborne contamination by promoting mercury-free technologies (in accordance with the guidelines of the Basel and the Minimata convention)
- Train artisanal miners in improved mining techniques and provide decent work
- Engage in technology transfer programmes which build the technical capacity of UMaT students in responsible mining
- The Development Gold Strategy
The strategy is underpinned by several core elements summarised as follows:
- A core vision to support the host Government to create a sustainable mining landscape whilst attaining key Sustainable Development Goals
- A Voluntary Sustainable Standard (VSS) specifically designed for the small/medium scale mining sector in sub-Saharan Africa
- A Monitoring and Evaluation Process to demonstrate to international and national stakeholders that standards are met and maintained with a focus on continuous improvement. This will span national and international legal compliance, child labour, forced labour, labour terms, occupational health and safety, gender equality, conflict, waste and tailings, biodiversity, mercury, cyanide, security and human rights, business ethics and integrity.
- An innovative digital management system built on transparency and traceability which is designed to meet the specific needs of supply chain counter-parties in Ghana. Their system is also compliant with OECD Guidelines and the LBMA Responsible Gold Guidance for Good Delivery Refiners.