British Columbia

2 workers dead after incident at Vancouver company's gold mine in Ghana

A Vancouver-based gold mining company is reporting the deaths of two contractors at its operation in the West African country of Ghana.

Galiano Gold says authorities investigating deaths of contractors near a tailings storage facility

An aerial photo shows a large pond with a road and parking lot leading toward it, surrounded by reddish soil and deep green forests.
An image taken from Vancouver company Galiano Gold's 2021 sustainability report shows the tailings storage facility at its Asanko Gold Mine in Ghana. (Galiano Gold)

A Vancouver-based gold mining company is reporting the deaths of two contractors at its operation in the West African country of Ghana.

On Monday, Galiano Gold released a statement announcing that the two workers had been killed a day earlier in an unspecified "incident" near a tailings storage facility at the Asanko Gold Mine.

"On behalf of Galiano Gold, we offer our sincerest condolences to the family, friends, and co-workers of our two colleagues," the company's president and CEO, Matt Badylak, said in the statement.

The company says both contractors were pronounced dead at the scene.

Krista Muhr, an investor relations adviser for Galiano Gold, said she couldn't share any further information about what happened while an investigation is underway.

Galiano Gold says it has notified authorities in Ghana. The last death reported at the mine was in 2015 when a contractor was killed.

Rodrigue Turgeon, co-lead for the Canada national program for the industry watchdog Mining Watch Canada, called for an independent investigation into what happened.

"While we still know too little about the causes of the human catastrophe, it is unfortunate that once again the 'Zero Harm' precautions taken by another Canadian mining company abroad are not sufficient to ensure the safety of all workers," Turgeon said in a written statement.

"Canada must take responsibility for the impacts of its mining corporations operating abroad. Our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of the deceased contractors."

The Asanko mine is managed and operated by Galiano Gold in a joint venture with the South African firm Gold Fields Ltd.

According to Galiano Gold, about 2,600 people work at the mine, of whom 99 per cent are Ghanaian.

The firm was named the mining company of the year in December by the government of Ghana.

CBC News has reached out to Ghana's Minerals Commission for comment.


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