Document Type: Original Research Paper

Author

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

10.22044/jme.2020.9668.1879

Abstract

In this paper, we report a geospatial assessment of the selected mine sites in the Plateau State, Nigeria. The aim of this work is to determine the impact of mining on the terrain as well as the Land Use/Land Cover (LULC) of the host communities. The Shuttle Radar Topographic Mission (SRTM) is used for the terrain mapping. The derived impact of mining on LULC between 1975 and 2014 is determined by classifying the relevant Landsat imageries. The digital terrain map reveal that the mining activity is not well-coordinated. Hence, the parts of the mine sites that are rich in the desired minerals are punctuated with low depth, while the other parts have high terrain as a result of the haphazard mining activity. The analysis of the LULC change show that the degraded land (DL), built-up area (BU), water bodies (WB), and exposed rock outcrop (RO) increase by 15.68%, 4.68%, 0.06%, and 14.5%, respectively, whereas the arable farmland (FL) and forest reserve (FR) decrease by 28.29% and 6.63%, respectively. Mining has adversely affected the natural ecology of the studied area. Therefore, the mine sites should be monitored, and their environmental damages should be pre-determined and mitigated. There should be regular inspections to keep these activities under control. The existing laws and regulations to conserve the natural ecosystems of the host communities should be enforced to curtail the excesses of the operators of the mining industries. Restoration of the minefields to reduce the existing hazards prevent further environmental degradation, and facilitating the socio-economic development of the area is also suggested.

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