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Title: Small Scale Mining in West Africa and Environmental Security: The Case Study of Tarkwa in Ghana
Authors: Ahorsu, K.
Alain, C.K.
University of Ghana, College of Humanities, Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy
Keywords: Small Scale Mining
West Africa
Environmental Security
Issue Date: Dec-2013
Publisher: University of Ghana
Abstract: The activities of small scale miners in West African countries such as Ghana to a large extent have had negative effects on the environment and this has hampered security within the environment. The dissertation seeks to assess the effects of small-scale mining on environmental security in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality. Small scale mining operations have been a major cause of most of the negative environmental impacts in most West African mining communities in general and Tarkwa Nsuaem in particular. The environmental effects of small scale activities are higher because most of the activities are not coordinated and monitored by authorities. The methods of mining applied by mining operators determine the severity of the threat to environmental security. The chemical method of processing gold is, for instance, a severe health hazard, especially the amalgamation with mercury and heap leaching. Small scale mining activities have a lot of negative impacts on agricultural activities, the major occupation and source of livelihood for the people. These challenges in a fundamental way translate into social conflicts and misunderstanding in the mining communities. It is recommended that Government and its agencies should encourage the illegal small scale operators to formalize their operations in order to be accessible for supervision, coordination and monitoring. The issuance of licenses and permit for surface mining should be reduced and most of these companies should be encouraged to explore the underground mining method with appropriate techniques and skills that meet international best practices. The Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipal Assembly should enforce environmentally friendly bye-laws and comprehensive environmental protection measures. The government and the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipal Assembly should establish laws and by-laws on the mining activities in the municipality in order to allow most part of the forest and vegetation to be reserved for agricultural purposes especially for both food and cash crop cultivation. The mining communities’ concerns must be identified and acted upon.
Description: Thesis(M.A)-University of Ghana,2013
Appears in Collections:Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy

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