Component Africa: Gold in Ghana, oil in Nigeria, and fracking in South Africa
  • One small miner was eliminated and 4 hurt as security forces transferred to evict them from a concession held by Ghana’s Golden Star Resources.
  • ExxonMobil’s strategy to leave from onshore oil production in the Niger Delta is successfully an effort to leave from its poisonous tradition in the area, neighborhoods state.
  • Strategies to frack for gas in South Africa will have terrible ecological effects and can not form part of a simply shift to cleaner energy sources, an advocacy group states.
  • Aspect Africa is Mongabay’s bi-weekly publication assembling short stories from the products market in Africa.

One dead, 4 hurt as Ghana gold miner relocates to kick out artisanal miners

BENSO, Ghana– Police eliminated a single person and hurt 4 others while trying to clear trespassing miners from the Wassa cash cow at Benso in Ghana’s Western area. The owner of the mine, Golden Star Resources, states small miners who have actually intruded on a deserted part of its concession location have actually been restraining its operations.

Golden Star started running at Benso in 2009, however suspended mining activity in 2012 as the rate of gold decreased. The business went back to the website in 2022, however throughout the years the mine was non-active, some Benso homeowners had actually started artisanal mining for gold in the deserted pit. Others planted cocoa trees inside the 500-meter (1,640-foot) buffer zone that surrounds the concession.

When it resumed operations in 2015, the business held a public conference with the neighborhood, cautioning the small miners to stop trespassing and hindering Golden Star’s operations. Frank Afful, a member of the Benso town council, stated residents still continue to dig for gold at the Wassa mine.

“The location is a security zone, so individuals are not expected to go there, however these prohibited miners go there to mine,” he informed Mongabay, “and the business have actually alerted them numerous times they would not listen and are still mining.”

On the early morning of March 23, Golden Star’s guard, accompanied by cops, tried to clear prohibited miners from the website so that blasting operations might happen. The miners withstood and in the violence that followed, 4 miners were hurt and cops state they unintentionally shot and eliminated 21-year-old Mohammed Yaro.

An Abandoned Wassa cash cow pit.
Deserted pit at Benso cash cow: small miners moved onto the Wassa concession after it was closed down in 2012. Image courtesy Desmond Cudjoe.

According to the mine’s business affairs supervisor, Gerard Boakye, the miners who had actually been strongly repelled gone back to Golden Star’s properties later on that day, accompanied by more than 100 other neighborhood members, and set fire to 8 trucks, an excavator, fuel tankers and lots of other automobiles, consisting of a company-owned ambulance that has actually served both the neighborhood and business employees.

They likewise set fire to the business’s workplaces; its personnel left the website. Golden Star has actually suspended its operations and authorities are examining the occurrence.

‘Toxic tradition’ in Nigerian neighborhood as ExxonMobil prepares exit

IBENO, Nigeria– As oil giant ExxonMobil prepares to offer its onshore and shallow-water properties in Nigeria to a regional company, individuals residing in its production locations state the oil significant is leaving a ravaged environment and declining to work out and remediate contaminated soil and waterways.

In February 2022, ExxonMobil revealed it was offering 300 oil wells and 90 shallow-water and onshore platforms to a Nigerian company, Seplat Energy, for $1.3 billion. ExxonMobil stated it will now concentrate on deep-water operations.

In the southeastern state of Akwa Ibom, ExxonMobil’s functional base in Nigeria considering that 1961, homeowners state the business has actually not dealt with a number of spill-related payment and removal claims in Ibeno, a fishing town near the Atlantic Ocean. Years of oil production there have actually polluted land and water, making it tough for residents to fish or farm.

“Since they revealed the sale, we have actually sent out lots of letters and petitions, however Mobil has actually not addressed,” Godwin Efanga, president of the town council of Upenekang, Ibeno’s primary neighborhood, informed Mongabay.

“They wish to leave after harming the environment without payment.”

In between 2010 and 2021, significant global oil business have actually finished 26 substantial sales, maintaining interests just in deep-water production or leaving the nation completely, according to the Stakeholder Democracy Network, a not-for-profit concentrating on the effect of the extractives market in the Niger Delta.

The business state they’re divesting in favor of cleaner energy and due to the fact that of security issues in some locations. The democracy group states the companies have actually likewise been agitated by current cases in which impacted neighborhoods effectively took legal action against business for damage to the Niger Delta in U.K. and Dutch courts.

Oil spill in Nigeria.
An oil spill in the Niger Delta. Neighborhoods here state global business are selling their possessions without taking obligation for ecological damage they have actually triggered. Image by Friends of the Earth by means of Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari withdrew a preliminary approval of the ExxonMobil sale following a demonstration by state-oil business NNPC, which argued it had initially ideal to purchase the possessions. In February this year, Seplat stated it was positive it would conclude the deal prior to Buhari leaves workplace in May.

A brand-new petroleum market law enacted in 2021 needs oil business deserting their properties to establish a “decommissioning fund.” At a March 22 occasion calling attention to contamination in the location, agents of Ibeno stated ExxonMobil has actually refrained from doing this. They likewise stated the oil giant has actually not carried out an extensive audit of effects of its operations in the location.

ExxonMobil representative Oge Udeagha, did not react to ask for remarks after at first requesting concerns to be sent out through text.

Neighborhoods like Ibeno grumble that they were not sought advice from when ExxonMobil began oil exploitation in their neighborhoods. They now feel insulted and abused by the exact same corporation divesting with no level of assessment or interaction with them,” stated Nnimmo Bassey of the Health of Mother Earth Foundation.

“They see the business as attempting to pass off a poisonous tradition on them and brush off their properly to remediate, bring back the contaminated environments and make do reparations.”

Business earnings thwarting South Africa’s ‘simply shift,’ group states

JOHANNESBURG– A South African ecological justice group alerts that fracking and drilling into coal beds to draw out gas will have terrible ecological effects and can not form part of a simply shift to cleaner energy sources.

Afro Energy, a regional subsidiary of Australian gas explorer Kinetiko Energy, has actually established 30 pilot wells in the Amersfoort location of South Africa’s Mpumalanga province, where it means to frack for coal bed methane. The business has expedition rights covering 7,000 square kilometers (2,700 square miles) of the province, and has actually declared that the gas resources below that land might be as much as 4.9 trillion cubic feet.

Speaking at the March 24 launch of a report evaluating South Africa’s energy shift, ecological justice group foundation stated drilling into coal beds in search of gas just extends the usage of contaminating fossil fuels and postures a severe risk to water products. The report likewise questioned claims from another business, Rhino Resources, that it was looking for a license to drill wells for helium and biogenic methane in South Africa’s main Free State province. (Biogenic methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, is produced by decay of natural product presently in the life process, however the business’s applications do not suggest where anything besides coal bed methane– including carbon that has actually been locked underneath the earth for numerous countless years– may be discovered.)

Aerial picture of Arnot power station, Middelburg, Mpumalanga, South Africa, steam increasing from cooling towers. Image by Gerhard Roux through Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Arnot power station, Middelburg: ecological justice supporters caution versus efforts to extend the life of coal resources in Mpumalanga province under cover of a shift to cleaner energy. Image by Gerhard Roux by means of Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Bobby Peek, foundation’s director, stated reorienting South Africa’s economy far from coal towards cleaner options threats being thwarted by business looking for revenues.

“Every recognized business is accepting the procedure. So are extremely lots of ‘fly-by-nights’ that look for to climb up into the Mpumalanga area to provide options that can make them a dollar off the guarantee of a brand-new tomorrow for the neighborhood.”

Foundation’s report states prepare for growth of gas production should be withstood and cautions that if the simply shift is entirely profit-driven, a shift far from coal in locations like Mpumalanga will omit regular individuals. The ecological justice group advises that neighborhoods established their own jobs to grow food and produce energy in a quote to end up being self-dependent.

Mabel Adorkor Annang, Anna Majavu, and Ini Ekott added to this report.

Mechanization of unlawful gold mining threatens Ghana’s forests

Banner image: A scorched truck at Golden Star’s Wassa mine, in Ghana’s West area. Image courtesy Desmond Cudjoe.

Neighborhood Development, Conflict, Conservation, Environment, Environmental Crime, ecological justice, Environmental Law, Environmental Politics, Gold Mining, Governance, Government, Land Conflict, Law, Mining, NGOs, Oil, Oil Drilling, Oil Spills, Politics, Pollution, Social Justice, Water Pollution


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