Price rises fuel new gold rush in Africa


Around a quarter of the world's gold production is in Africa and extraction of the precious metal has been been stepped up as its price on world markets has increased. But a significant proportion of this mining is carried out illegally by small-scale miners and much of the gold then finds its way into the hands of criminal and armed groups across the continent before being sold in the Middle East. Fanny Pigeaud reports on attempts to clean up the sector through stronger regulations.

Reading articles is for subscribers only. Subscribe now.

Massive excavation work, tunnels that sink ever deeper and bulldozers scraping the bottom of rivers: in many African countries there is a growing army of gold prospectors armed with spades, pumps and metal bowls digging the ground and grinding, washing and sieving the dirt.