Data compiled by the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) shows that 1,641 Chinese nationals involved in illegal mining were arrested and repatriated between 2009 and August 2022.
As at 2013, more than 3,800 others submitted to repatriation on a voluntary basis.
1,018 repatriated between 2009 and 2016
Out of the 1,641 Chinese nationals involved in illegal mining, 1,018 were repatriated between 2009 and 2016.
623 repatriated between 2017 and August 2022
In the same vein, 623 Chinese nationals were arrested and repatriated between 2017 and August 2022.
Annual breakdown of repatriations
The annual breakdown are, 2009-9; 2010-43; 2012-130, 2013-713; 2014-74; 2015-21; 2016- 28; 2017-36; 2018-160; 2019-376; 2020-28; 2021-11 and 2022-12.
Series of raids on illegal miners
Government launched a series of raids through the combined military, immigration and police taskforce.
4,592 Chinese departed Ghana in 2013
In 2013, Immigration announced that 4,592 Chinese including those arrested departed Ghana following the government’s crackdown on illegal mining.
571 Chinese arrested in 2013
In that communication, Immigration said 571 Chinese were arrested between June 1 and July 3, 2013.
Following the crackdown, many Chinese in the country at the time agreed to leave voluntarily.
As a result, more than 3,800 others submitted to repatriation on a voluntary basis.
Dangers of galamsey
The dangers of galamsey have been demonstrated to harm not only individuals but societies and the country as a whole.
Fertile lands as well as rich vegetation, clear water bodies and precious human lives have been lost through galamsey activity.
The impacts also affect health and also the education of children.
Traditionally, small-scale gold mining in Ghana has been carried out by locals on their own land using hand-operated tools.
These methods have slowly modernised and expanded, but the recent influx of foreigners – predominantly Chinese – miners has accelerated this development in breach of laws prohibiting small-scale mining by non-citizens.
Chinese actors have invested substantial funds into mining, introduced more sophisticated technologies, and employed significant numbers of Chinese migrant workers as well as Ghanaians.
Mining operations in Ghana are regulated by the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703).
It stipulates, among other things, the different types of mining rights and licenses, as well as the requirements and qualifications that must be satisfied prior to obtaining them.
Act 703 legalizes small-scale mining and presents elaborate provisions outlining the requirements needed to satisfy is legality.