Small-Scale and Industrial Gold Mining Histories in Nangodi

September 2010

An examination of gold mining history in Nangodi, which has linked residents of this small, rural community in northeastern Ghana with successive political regimes, changing mining laws, and the vagaries of the global economy, reflected in fluctuating gold prices. 

This paper examines gold mining history in Nangodi, which has linked residents of this small, rural community in northeastern Ghana with successive political regimes, changing mining laws, and the vagaries of the global economy, reflected in fluctuating gold prices. Nangodi presents a distinctive gold mining history in Ghana as it had the only industrial mine open in the former Northern Territories. Gold mining there was influenced when men who had mining experience in southern Ghana came to Nangodi. This historical analysis clarifies the ways that past mining-related actions in Nangodi have had consequences for those presently living in this impoverished area of Ghana. While Nangodi residents have benefited economically from gold mining, they have also experienced detrimental health, environmental, and legal consequences from it, underscoring the political and economic vulnerability as well as the social and cultural resiliency of such gold mining communities.