Document Type: Case Study

Author

Department of Mining Engineering, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria

Abstract

The vulnerability of water bodies to contamination within the neighbourhood of open mine cast environ cannot be overemphasized. Evidence of radioactive trace elements associated with the target minerals in the Plateau State (Nigeria) showed the extent of this vulnerability. In order to address this challenge, the radioactivity levels of water samples from mine ponds, streams, wells, and boreholes around mine sites in the Plateau State were assessed. The water samples were analysed for gross alpha and beta radiation activities using MPC 2000 radiation counter in accordance with the provisions of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) at the Centre for Energy Research and Training (CERT) Zaria. The mean alpha radiation activity dose for the water samples collected from mine ponds, streams, wells, and boreholes was 0.63 + 0.1 Bq/l, 0.13 + 0.1 Bq/l, 0.34 + 0.1 Bq/l, and 0.51 + 0.2 Bq/l, respectively. The mean beta radiation activity dose for the water samples collected from mine ponds, streams, wells and boreholes was 4.1 + 1.8 Bq/l, 1.0 + 0.7Bq/l, 2.4 + 1.9 Bq/l, and 2.7 + 1.3 Bq/l, respectively. The water bodies were unwholesome for human consumption. The present use of water from the mine ponds for irrigation should be discontinued. The specific activities of alpha and beta radiations in the water samples decreased as distance from the mine increased. It is, therefore, clear that the mine sites were the sources of the high radiation values recorded in the water sources.

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