More than 500 people scramble for gold at Elmina beach

Hundreds of people from Elmina and its environs have set up camps at the shores of Eyisa beach near the Benya Lagoon at Elmina rigorously mining gold.

When the Ghana News Agency (GNA) got there, over 500 men, women and children were seen at the shore on Tuesday morning busily digging, washing and sieving sand from the beach with the hope of finding precious minerals.

Some business men from Obuasi and Tarkwa were also spotted around the area waiting to purchase any available gold particle they could lay their hands on.

A few “glamseyers” showed the GNA some of the gold particles they had gathered whiles others claimed they had sold theirs to gold dealers who patrol the area.

According to one of the lucky miners, Mr. Alex Dabi, the discovery was made about two weeks ago when some children who were digging around for ancient coin currencies at Marine Park, a suburb of Elmina, chanced upon some particles of gold.

He said patches of gold were found around some of the coins and that prompted them to start the search for the mineral.

He said since the search began, gold weighing about the size of twenty razor blades and valued at about GH¢1,000.00 had been sold to dealers.

Many of the miners at the seashore, who had abandoned their fishing duties described the find as a “blessing from God”  because it had created jobs for the unemployed youth and expressed optimism that the business had come to stay.

Meanwhile, an Inspector of Mines at the Inspectorate Division of the Minerals Commission for the Central and Western Regions, Mr. Isaac Mwinbelle, who was also at the beach to witness the activities, said his outfit had taken samples of the sand to their laboratory to test whether what had been discovered was truly gold or not.

On the impact of the mining on the beach, he said, if the holes being dug were not deep, the high tides can wash the sands back to their normal level, but where the holes were deep, the sea water would create ponds and that could be very dangerous.

He also pointed out that if mercury was used in mining at the seashore, it could be disastrous for not only the people but also the aquatic creatures in the sea.

Mr. Mwinbelle was however hopeful that the necessary institutions would come together and put a stop to the galamsey operations at the beach since it could have dire consequences in the area whiles a better means was found to tap the resource.

Source: GNA

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