Environmental Evaluation of Small Scale Gold Mining in the Bonkani Region in the Upper East Area of Côted’Ivoire
International Journal of Environmental Monitoring and Analysis
Volume 3, Issue 5, October 2015, Pages: 265-274
Received: Jun. 14, 2015; Accepted: Jul. 9, 2015; Published: Oct. 21, 2015
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Authors
Eboua Narcisse Wandan, Environmental Management Research Laboratory, Department of Water, Forestry and Environment, INP–HB, Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire
Gnammytchet Barthelemy Koffi, Civil Engineering Research Laboratory, Geosciences and Geographical Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences and Mineral Resources, INP–HB, Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire
Kouakou Bob Kouadio, Sustainable Forest Management Research Laboratory, Department of Water, Forestry and Environment, INP–HB, Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire
Zoly Desiré Gomba, Departmental Directorate of Water and Forests, Bouna, Côte d’Ivoire
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Abstract
Artisanal mining is usually done by workers with limited understanding of the long term impacts of their activities on the environment and on their health and with limited capacity to mitigate the risks. The aim of this study was to evaluate the environmental impact of this activity in the Department of Bouna where this activity has gained Importance. This study was done through data collection, interviews of miners, traders, and government services’ agents, and on site diagnosis. Six steps were inventoried on the mining sites: site prospection, digging holes, crushing mined ore, grinding of crushed ore, washing the flour after milling, and gold recovery with mercury. Among the activities on mining sites, 24% were found to present potential impact of major importance, 39% have potential impact of medium importance, and 37% have minor potential impacts. The major impacts are those impacting soil, landscape, and vegetation and water resources. These results showed that small scale gold mining significantly impacts the environment. As recommendation, it was proposed site rehabilitation by reforestation, the help of miners to use retors which are mercury traps or eventually mercury-free gold extraction technologies such as chlorination. A simple policy of solid and liquid waste management must be developed by site owners. They must ensure the education of miners and of the population living on mining sites on the importance of using and building effective systems for on-site sanitation. Besides that, programs focusing on HIV/STI prevention, with targeted interventions for high risk women must be implemented under private/public/NGO partnership. Since the resilience of the gold mining activities has proven to be one of the main sources of livelihoods in local communities of the extraction sites, the state should define a consistent policy of artisanal gold mining taking into account the environmental, social and health.
Keywords
Artisanal, Mining, Bouna, Cote d’Ivoire, Environnemental Impact
To cite this article
Eboua Narcisse Wandan, Gnammytchet Barthelemy Koffi, Kouakou Bob Kouadio, Zoly Desiré Gomba, Environmental Evaluation of Small Scale Gold Mining in the Bonkani Region in the Upper East Area of Côted’Ivoire, International Journal of Environmental Monitoring and Analysis. Vol. 3, No. 5, 2015, pp. 265-274. doi: 10.11648/j.ijema.20150305.14
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