Evaluating conflict surrounding mineral extraction in Ghana: Assessing the spatial interactions of large and small-scale mining
Since implementation of its Economic Recovery Program in 1983, Ghana's extractive industries have come to account for 40% of the total value of the country's exports. An adverse impact of this increase, however, has been increased extraction-related conflict due to heightened competition between large and small-scale operators over mineral-rich lands. This paper characterizes these conflicts in the south-central section of the country by mapping the spatial overlaps between large and small-scale miners. Classification tree analysis of 2013 and 2015 Landsat-7 and -8 imagery was used to identify small-scale mine sites. The overlaps between these sites and large-scale concessions are examined in the context of reported mining conflicts. Results reveal that there is a large amount of resource competition between the two parties, specifically, more than half (i.e., 52%) of the identified small-scale mining activity occurs within the boundaries of large-scale concessions. The northwest corner of the study area contains 50% of the identified overlaps; the southwest corner contains 40%; and the northeast corner contains 10%. In most cases, these overlaps take place on prospecting concessions. The work illustrates how mapping and quantifying areas of spatial overlap between large and small-scale miners can help stakeholders implement more effective policy solutions.
Extractive Industries and Society
Patel, Kayla; Rogan, John; Cuba, Nicholas; and Bebbington, Anthony, "Evaluating conflict surrounding mineral extraction in Ghana: Assessing the spatial interactions of large and small-scale mining" (2016). Geography. 450.