Ghana's gold mines 'rife with abuse'

2010-10-29 20:56

Tarkwa - Legal investigators say foreign mining companies in gold-rich Ghana regularly seize people's land, pollute the environment and violently suppress those who oppose them.

A report by the Human Rights Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law says large mining companies in Ghana's west often take land from farmers without compensation. Thursday's report also says chemical spills from mining operations contaminate the water supply. The group's findings also accuse mining companies of using private and government security forces to squash dissent.

Ghanaian officials could not be immediately reached on Friday for comment. The West African nation is one of the continent's largest gold exporters, and global gold prices have recently reached record highs.