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2013 (Vol. 5, Issue: 12)
Article Information:

A Survey of Mining and Tailings Disposal Practices of Selected Artisanal and Small Scale Mining Companies in Ghana

Chiri G. Amedjoe and S.K.Y. Gawu
Corresponding Author:  Chiri G. Amedjoe 

Key words:  Alluvial, amalgamation, backfilling , gangue minerals, mercury pollution, waste rocks,
Vol. 5 , (12): 744-750
Submitted Accepted Published
September 04, 2013 September 18, 2013 December 20, 2013
Abstract:

Management of small scale mining operations for maximum profitability with good environmental stewardship requires careful planning of mining and tailings disposal strategies. Field studies and observations of eleven selected artisanal and small-scale gold mining companies winning gold from alluvial (placer) source mostly, but also mine out cropping and underground quartz veins where available from the Takwaian and Birimian Formations in southwestern Ghana. Excavation is either by pitting or using backhoes. Sluicing, panning followed by mercury amalgamation and then roasting to recover the gold is the beneficiation method in use. Riverine waste rocks/tailings disposal is the main management invoked, however some companies do sell their waste to construction firms. Environmentally mining operations are impacting rivers with siltation, mercury pollution, channel diversions and possibly change in heavy metals concentration and water chemistry. Vast arable lands are degraded leaving peasant farmers with no livelihood due to failure by concessionaires to reclaim lands after closure. Only two companies out of the eleven somehow demonstrated environmental consciousness by constructing small tailings dam and backfilling some pits.
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  Cite this Reference:
Chiri G. Amedjoe and S.K.Y. Gawu, 2013. A Survey of Mining and Tailings Disposal Practices of Selected Artisanal and Small Scale Mining Companies in Ghana.  Research Journal of Environmental and Earth Sciences, 5(12): 744-750.
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ISSN (Online):  2041-0492
ISSN (Print):   2041-0484
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