The … Some Akabzaa T (2004) African mining codes, a race to the bottom. Special thanks also go to the Cartography Unit, Department of Geography and Regional Planning, University of Cape Coast, Ghana for providing the map of the study area. However, this company has been on the divestiture list since 1993. Surface mines (sometimes called strip mines) were the source of about 63% of the coal mined in the United States in 2018. Environmental impacts of mining and mineral processing are serious issues facing the world. What’s This poisoned soil is why nothing often grows near mines. the use of biosolids — nutrient-rich organics derived from sewage 1-24. Albert K. Mensah, Ishmail O. Mahiri, Obed Owusu, Okoree D. Mireku, Ishmael Wireko, Evans A. Kissi, Albert K. Mensah1,, Ishmail O. Mahiri1, Obed Owusu2, Okoree D. Mireku3, Ishmael Wireko4, Evans A. Kissi5, 1Department of Geography, Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya, 2Department of Economics, Dalhousie University, 6214 University Avenue, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, 3Department of Geography and Regional Planning, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana, 4Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan, 101 Defeinbaker Place, Saskatoon, Canada, 5Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, Georg-August-University of Gottingen, Germany. For instance, [12] reported that pH levels in soils in Prestea/Bogoso in the western region of Ghana are as low as 3.96. The private informal sector is the largest employer in the District, employing 89.1 percent of the population followed by the private formal with 7.5 percent [20]. of what makes the environmental impact of mining so severe is how long their In fact, its environmental impact is quite large. Various environmental studies are associated with these phases, after which a decision is made whether to proceed with the project or not. Harwood MR, Hacker JB, Mott JJ (1999) Field evaluation of seven grasses for use in the revegetation of lands disturbed by coal mining in Central Queensland. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. The authors have no competing interests. of environmental and social governance (ESG). individuals and governments push them to comply with higher standards The three main large scale mining companies in this area are Golden Star Resources, Prestea Sankofa Gold Limited and African Explosive Limited. Speaker paper for the Impact Assessment for Industrial Development – IAIA (April 28 th 2004 , Vancouver ). Mined pits left unfilled renders land unsuitable for any other purpose and become repositories for water resulting in breeding grounds for malaria-infected mosquitoes that pose significant threat to both humans and animals [1, 11, 28, 33]. The paper mainly focused on the mining activities in Prestea in the western region of the country. is troubling for those who care about the environment. The key players in the large-scale sector include AngloGold Ashanti Ltd, Goldfields Ghana Ltd., Golden Star Resources Ltd., Newmont Mining Corporation, Red Back Mining, Adamus Resources Ltd, Alcoa Inc., Alcan Aluminum Ltd, Ghana National Manganese Corporation, and the Ghana Consolidated Diamonds Ltd [5, 10]. eventually pollute waterways. Among the weaknesses include the methods of mining employed in the area. Mensah, Albert K., Ishmail O. Mahiri, Obed Owusu, Okoree D. Mireku, Ishmael Wireko, and Evans A. Kissi. Coal starts as peat, or sections of partially decomposed organic matter that accumulate on the earth’s surface. For instance, a study by [37] in Prestea, found high levels of arsenic and antimony concentrations in the rivers ranging from 0.90 – 8.25 ppm and 0.09 – 0.75 ppm respectively, far exceeding the World Health Organizations recommended values of 0.01 and 0.005 ppm respectively. Bonsu M, Quansah C (1992) The Importance of Soil Conservation for Agriculture and Economic Development of Ghana. Mensah, Albert K., et al. This can pose other problems, too — like the air pollution Data sources included both primary and secondary data. Plate 6 shows land devoid of vegetation cover with massive erosion occurring in one abandoned mined site at Prestea. It accounts for more than 50% of Ghana’s total annual gold production. The mining sector in Ghana consists of both small-scale and large-scale mining, each of which has varying environmental impacts. There is also growing potential for commercial gas and oil exploitation, with announcements of significant discoveries of off-shore oil in June 2007, which commercial exploitation started in 2010. Armah FA, Luginaah IN, Taabazuing J, Odoi JO (2013) Artisanal gold mining and surface water pollution in Ghana: have the foreign invaders come to stay?. The mining sector in Ghana consists of both small-scale and large-scale mining, each of which has varying environmental impacts. Part of what makes the environmental impact of mining so severe is how long their side-effects can last after the initial mining operations have ended. These organizations provide support to ensure optimal exploitation of the country’s natural resources [3]. worse over time, not all companies invest in rehabilitating their sites. One respondent in an interview revealed that they drill as deep as 80m underground just to reach water that is free from contaminations. The participation is also according to the Rio Principle Number 10 (usually referred to as “participatory principle”) which stressed, among others, that “environmental issues are handled best with the participation of all concerned citizens, at the relevant level” [41]. negative environmental effects can continue long after a mining company has If miners need to dig through Low-impact Fortunately, there is some hope that mining will become more sustainable in the future. The vegetables, cereals and root and stem tuber crops are mainly kept to feed the family and surplus sold to supplement the family’s income. Most of the underground operations, especially in the small scale mining, appeared to be constructed haphazardly, excavated to unsafe depths and supported flimsily by logs and branches (Plate 9). A random sampling technique was adopted for the selection of the communities and/or respondents for the interviews. water pollution, air pollution and vegetation loss as a result of soil Recommendations to Minimize Environmental Impacts of Mining in Ghana, Citation-(RIS [3] reported that surface mining concessions have taken over 70% of the total land area of Tarkwa, a mining community in western region of Ghana. even low-impact mining techniques like in-situ mining aren’t consequence-free. Underground mines can also cause subsidence on the surface — the land above begins to sink, usually when underground supports fail in abandoned or inactive mines. example, some mining companies are experimenting with advanced land Journal of creative communications 2(3): 361-382. Concerns include: Waste rock disposal areas are usually located as close to the mine as possible to minimize haulage costs. Given an estimated per acre yield of cassava of 108,000 bags in a year, this means the tailings dam has denied the farmer a minimum of 275,351 bags of cassava per annum. Amegbey N (2001) Lecture notes on Environmental Engineering in Mining. This method leaves behind large pits in the earth and can contaminate the groundwater with chemicals used in the mining process. Similar findings were also obtained by [39], who in their study, found high levels of arsenic contamination in drinking water from streams, shallow wells and boreholes in Obuasi, in the Ashanti region of Ghana, ranging from 2 to 175µgl-1. 2. This spillage, according to [38], emanated from the new tailings dam of the company into the River Aprepre, which flows into other rivers, including Egya Nsiah, Bemanyah, Manse and Ankobra. Plate 11 shows mined soil stockpiled in one of the mining sites in Prestea. local ecosystems. Widespread adoption of electric engines There is a great opportunity to improve and enhance the cumbersome and lengthy processes in registering small-scale mines. Thus, majority of artisanal miners are unregistered and operate illegally, making monitoring of their activities and enforcement of mining regulations very difficult [11, 16, 24]. Bloch R, Owusu G (2012) Linkages in Ghana's gold mining industry: Challenging the enclave thesis. it may be possible to reintroduce plant life to former mining sites in as few as 12 Mining procedures generally require a larger and vast area of land. the mine for work to continue. Without human intervention, it may take years or decades for the land to become usable again. company that owns the mine invested in a remediation wall to prevent these The study found that a number of the projects undertaken by the mining companies as part of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) were either not functioning due to inadequacy of the affected communities’ involvement in decision making. Expert leaders on ESG and industry professionals from within mining predict operations will begin to think more AMBIO 40(5): 528-539. serious impacts — like drying up springs, cutting off rivers and degrading Such practices had also played a major role in altering the local hydrological patterns in Prestea. Obuasi, one of the major mining towns in Ghana, has been described as a ‘hanging town’. Again, since unregistered small-scale artisans are driven solely by livelihood and survival motives, they pay little respect to issues of environmental sustainability. 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