Gold, the Money Stone

Miners descend down narrow holes nearly 400 feet deep to pull gold-laden quartz rock out.

Small-scale gold mining in Africa is dangerous and illegal. Men, women and children who are poor get caught in this profession in hopes of escaping poverty and building a better life.

“The Money Stone” is a feature-length documentary that sheds light on the realm of small-scale gold mining. The story is told through perspective of three young men surviving in the conflict-ridden world of galamsey—life as a local miner in Ghana. This underground industry affects not only the miners, but millions worldwide.

“The main challenge of this film is to deal with the complexity of different issues that affect small-scale mining communities in a way that will make sense, as well as to balance the viewpoints of the various stakeholders,” says producer Paula Ely.

Illegal mining not only endangers the health and safety of the workers but is also damaging to the environment and the surrounding communities.

Production is approximately 75 percent complete. The filmmakers are constantly working to raise the $250,000 still needed to finish the film. After the film’s release, Ely says, they hope to see efforts from large-scale mining companies create opportunities for cooperation with small-scale mining groups in order to minimize conflict. “We hope that steps will be taken to create workable solutions toward improving the conditions in mining communities for all parties,” says Ely.

“The Money Stone”