Ghana’s mineral sector is dominated by gold mining, with activity stretching back over 1,000 years. Gold extracted by ASM accounts for approximately 30% of annual mineral production, with diamonds being the second most important in terms of export value. Ghana’s ASM activities are also essential to the production of a (currently) unquantified amount of construction materials, such as sand, clays, and gravels found throughout the country, as well for salt winning, which is produced largely through solar evaporation along coastal regions.

Read more in the State of the Sector 2019 Country Profile: Ghana

Artisanal salt winners, Keta, Volta Region
Photo by James McQuilken

Key Minerals Mined by ASM

Diamond • Gold • Sand & Gravel

Ghana ASM Employment

ASM employment estimates for Ghana have fluctuated over the past two decades. Yet, the the same 1,100,000 figure is quoted in publications in 1990 and 2016. Further, given the dominance of gold mining in the country, most employment and production estimates (if not all) focus on this precious metal. There is a clear data here.

Data Source: Low = SMI, 1990; High = Wilson et al., 2015, Noetstaller, 1995, Wilson et al., 2015, Noetstaller et al., 2004, Hentschel et al., 2003, Low = Baffour, 2003; High = Wilson et al., 2015; Hentschel et al., 2003, PMMC, 2003, Fritz et al., 2018, Low = Hruschka, 2015; High = RCS, 2016, Low = Fritz et al., 2018; High = McQuilken and Hilson, 2016, Hilson, 2016

Various data sources can be found in Delve resource library (coming soon).

Gold Production 2016

30% of all gold produced in Ghana is mined by artisanal and small-scale operators, with 70% originating from large-scale mining. Gold production estimates for ASM are based on the gold bought by and/or exported through the Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) in a given year. This government agency is responsible for marketing the gold and diamond industry in Ghana, assaying shipments, and appointing licensed buying agents.

Data Source: MLNR, 2017

MLNR. 2017. Project Appraisal & Implementation Document for the Multilateral Mining Integrated Project (MMIP), June 2017. Government of Ghana.


The data presented in this beta site is a sample and should be used for demonstration purposes only. All data, countries and minerals are not yet represented, and will be included in the full launch of the platform coming Summer 2019.

Related Researchers and Organizations