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|Title: ||Three Essays on Small-Scale Gold Mining Operations in Ghana: An Integrated Approach to Benefit-Cost Analysis|
|Authors: ||Opoku-Antwi, George Lord|
|Issue Date: ||22-May-2015|
|Abstract: ||The thesis is a monographic piece of three essays or papers on small-scale gold mining
in Ghana synthesized into one document. The essays therefore, represent different but
related essays as indicated in the title of the thesis. The first essay highlights on
contemporary issues on small-scale gold mining operations in Ghana. The second essay
focuses on comparative study in the Bibiani, Bolgatanga, Dunkwa and Tarkwa Mining
districts of the Minerals Commission of Ghana. The third essay which is the most
dominant of the study is on an integrated approach to benefit-cost analysis on smallscale
gold mining operations in the Bibiani, Bolgatanga, Dunkwa and Tarkwa Mining
districts of the Minerals Commission of Ghana.
The objective of the first essay is to discuss current issues, specifically, the challenges
and potentials of small-scale gold mining operations in Ghana. Output, revenue and
employment effects from small-scale mining; environmental and occupational health
issues; operational constraints including financial issues, skills and training,
occupational safety, constraints on women’s participation; child labour abuse issues,
tensions and conflicts of interest between large scale gold mining companies; and the
long process involved in obtaining permits to operate as licensed small-scale miners are
the main highlights of the essay. The research methodology used was a survey design.
The essay concludes that small-scale mining in Ghana is beset with environmental,
occupational health and operational constraints or problems and that addressing them
would help promote (a successful existence of) small-scale gold mining as a socially and
economically viable activity in the country.
The second essay aims to provide a comparative study on small-scale gold mining
industry in the Bibiani, Bolgatanga, Dunkwa and Tarkwa Districts of the Minerals
Commission of Ghana. Variations in production, employment, number of licensed
operators/concessions were the main focus of the essay. The study used both quantitative
and qualitative methods.
The statistical tool employed was a two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA). The study
tested for statistical interdependence of the means of equality between the mining
districts (distance, that is, row effect) and the means of equality across time (years from
2005 – 2008, that is, column effect).
The essay concludes that even though the small-scale mining sub-sector in Ghana is
plagued with a number of challenges, production and employment levels as well as the
number of licensed operators or concessions have increased considerably over the years.
Managerial structures, choice of technology and profitability are among the factors or
issues that explain the magnitude of the differences in the mining districts.
Small-scale mining should be recognised as a significant contributor of rural livelihoods
that has the potential to alleviate poverty and be a tool for sustainable development. The
essay suggests that adequate technical, financial, economic and organizational assistance
or support should be provided to enhance small-scale mining operations in Ghana.
The third essay undertakes to measure the expected net benefits, net future values and
benefit-cost ratios resulting from small-scale gold mining operations particularly, in the
Bibiani, Bolgatanga, Dunkwa and Tarkwa mining districts of the Minerals Commission
of Ghana. The essay discusses the conceptual and methodological framework,
specification of benefit-cost operational models, data collection and analysis methods
and empirical results and analysis.
A benefit-cost analysis was carried out in the individual four mining districts before a
combined total benefit-cost analysis was performed for all the four mining districts. It
must be emphasized that in this study, benefit-cost analysis (BCA) and cost-benefit
analysis (CBA) imply the same thing. Hence, they are used interchangeably. The results
showed that, the Bolgatanga Mining District that recorded an average net benefit of
GH¢39,966,554.83 and therefore, promises to be worthwhile and worth continuing with
the existing mining activities in that district. The outcomes of all the other mining
districts: Bibiani, Dunkwa, Tarkwa with the combined total however, recorded negative
average net benefits of (GH¢1,572,088.66), (GH¢ 7,588,627.13), (GH¢121,483,027.35)
and (GH¢90,252,809.70) respectively. This suggests that small-scale mining activities in
these mining districts (Bibiani, Dunkwa and Tarkwa), are not worthwhile or viable and
therefore, not worth continuing with the existing mining activities. In general, smallscale
mining activities in all the four mining districts (Bibiani, Bolgatanga, Dunkwa and
Tarkwa) combined are also not economically viable.
The analysis of variance indicates that enterprise profitability of operation across the
activity sectors matters much in profitability of operation, though, location or mining
district/area does not matter much so far as profitability of operation is concerned. The
Chi square (χ2) test also indicates that both the benefit and cost variables between the
Bibiani, Bolgatanga, Dunkwa and Tarkwa mining districts/areas and across sector
activity, namely: physical environmental, social and aggregate economic factors are not
statistically related or associated with each other. The sensitivity analysis performed
shows that real NFVs tended to be responsive to the real rate scenarios.
The essay concludes that small-scale mining in Ghana is not economically viable and
that if the small-scale mining sub-sector is to achieve its full potential, then more
attention should be paid to the high negative environmental, social and aggregate
economic impact or costs.
The essay recommends that regulations and guidelines that aim at promoting efficiency
in mining operations; minimizing the negative environmental, social and aggregate
economic costs or impact; promoting high health and safety standards; and identifying
obligations for all stakeholders should be developed to make small-scale mining
operations in Ghana economically viable and sustainable.|
|Description: ||Thesis submitted to the Department of Economics,
Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY (PhD)|
|Appears in Collections:||College of Art and Social Sciences|
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