Illegal Gold-diggers Lead to Moratorium on Permits in Ghana*

Illegal Gold-diggers Lead to Moratorium on Permits in Ghana*

By Cecilia Jamasmie

Africa’s second-largest gold producer, Ghana, will stop issuing new gold prospecting permits for an initial 90-day period, while it works on making an inventory of unused concessions, the country’s minerals commission said Thursday.

Tony Aubynn, the commission’s head, told Reuters the audit would allow the government to free up permits that can be reallocated, but warned the three-month moratorium on new warrants could be extended if necessary.

The move could be risky for the West African nation, which has been experiencing a major and ongoing drop in gold production as of late. With the gold price dropping by an average of 28% in 2013 and not doing much better this year, many mining companies operating in the country, such as AngloGold Ashanti (NYSE:AU), Newmont (NYSE:NEM) and Gold Fields (NYSE:GFI), have had to cut back.

Small-scale operations are also declining. But for them it’s not just the price drop— a government crackdown on illegal mining has also affected production. has kept a close eye on illegal gold mining in Ghana. At its peak, an estimated 50,000 foreign workers, mainly Chinese, were operating unlawfully in the country. This prompted the government to create a taskforce in May last year to tackle the subject, and so avoid tension-generating issues, such as the massive deportation of almost two hundred of Chinese nationals last year.


AngloGold Ashanti

As one of the world’s foremost gold exploration, mining and marketing companies, AngloGold Ashanti has operations on four continents. According to Mining Weekly, AngloGold has a multi-continent strategy to reach its target of 5.5-million ounces a year target.

Based in the U.K., RP Edey is a non-executive director of AngloGold Ashanti, and a non-executive director of a number of companies within the N M Rothschild group.

Based in South Africa, Prof LW Nkuhlu has been a non-executive director of AngloGold Ashanti, and a member of Rothschild SA and the Ethics Institute of South Africa, and has been a member of the board of directors of Datatec Limited, Rothschild SA and the Ethics Institute of South Africa.

Edmond de Rothschild also has holdings with: Newmont (mentioned above).Of the two major Rothschild Houses (French and English), the London House (New Court), founded by Nathan Mayer Rothschild and operating today as N.M. Rothschild and Sons, is the most influential when it comes to gold and currency trading. It was Rothschild via the East India Company that plundered the wealth (gold) of India to establish the Bank of England. N.M. Rothschild helps fix the price of gold in London each day through the LBMA (London Bullion Market Association).

In 2010, Lord Rothschild’s RIT Capital Partners, funded Augmentum Capital, a bullion vault, for ‘private customers’.

AngloGold Ashanti

Lord Rothschild fund joins World Gold Council to put £12.5m into BullionVault

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