controversy through an examination of the ecological, social and economic features of small scale gold mining and the impacts on mining communities. It appears that land degradation, environmental pollution and many socio economic problems have been major issues with communities where small scale mining is practised in Ghana.
Small scale gold mining operations have proven to be extremely harmful to the environment and result in adverse pollution of the atmosphere, soil degradation, landscape damage, ground and surface water contamination, flooding, deforestation and an aggregate of health related issues.
Disadvantages of open pit mining One of the main disadvantages of this type of mining operation is the environmental impact it causes. Since cyanide, mercury and sulfuric acid are used to remove the wastewater, groundwater and air are contaminated as toxic dust. This is absorbed by animals and plants.
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Artisanal small scale gold mining in Rongo district has intensified due to rising poverty levels and perennial droughts that have been affecting the area over the past decade. The importance of artisanal small scale gold mining is reinforced by the fact that in the past few years it has become the main source of
Hazards created by the work environment include airborne contaminants, fumes, noise and toxic substances. There are several causes of injuries in a mining environment. This is why the mine operator has to ensure that all of the working personnel is going under strict safety induction and sit specific training.
Open pit mining is to be considered one of the most dangerous sectors in the industrial world. It causes significant effects to miners health, as well as damage to the ecological land. Open pit mining causes changes to vegetation, soil, and bedrock, which ultimately contributes to changes in surface hydrology, groundwater levels, and flow paths.
In the State of Kentucky, almost 4,000 miles of streams have been polluted, physically degraded, or destroyed by mountaintop mining. Open pit/open cast miining techniques are also frequently used to produce precious and semi precious metals, especially, copper, silver, and gold, in developed as well as developing nations.