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Student Project | Earth Science and Engineering | Liberia | Volume 11 Issue 6, June 2022
Environmental Impacts of Artisanal Gold Mining on Surface Water Quality (Duking Gold Field, Todi District-Liberia 2017-2020)
Joe B. Kamara
Abstract: Artisanal Gold Mining in Liberia and the world at large is a significant industry, providing employment directly and indirectly to people around the word including inhabitants of the Duking gold field vicinity and others part of Liberia as well. Interestingly; many ASGM operations occur near streams, rivers and other water bodies for easy access and washing of gravels which often result into environmental problems. Meanwhile; this research study conducted in the Duking gold field, Todi district- Montserrado, Liberia revealed that the concentration of heavy metals like, mercury and zinc were found above acceptable limit in the Kua River as per requirement of the Liberia Water Quality Standards, class II which is in alignment with the WHO standards. The Kua River which is the major source of water for more than two thousand people in the surrounding of the case study area reflects, water samples collected and analyzed recording high value of 0.002mg/L for Hg in sample 001, 0.016mg/L for Hg in sample 002 and 0.009mg/L for Hg in sample 003. While; Zinc recorded value was 2.71mg/L in sample 001, 2.13mg/L for Zinc in sample 002 and 1.95mg/L for Zinc in sample 003. As you may be aware, mercury has a long resident time in most environments and this makes its emission a threat to health and environment in a particular mining district. Moreover, inhaling large amounts of salacious dust, careless handling of mercury during panning and amalgamation of gold as well as the sharing of poor quality air are major causes of health hazard among miners and inhabitants. This research findings also revealed that the concentration of others heavy metals like, Iron, Lead and Cadmium value were found under an acceptable limit or level as per requirement of the Liberia Water Quality Standards (LWQS) Class II; which is in alignment with the WHO standards. However, Miners were thus advised to purchase protective gear like, dust masks, air filters and heavy chemical gloves for their personal use while on the mine. To conclude, the need for professional health and safety training is highly needed by miners and inhabitants of the mining district. Moreover, this research recommend that the division of Mines at the ministry of mines and energy need to strategize mechanism to improve the livelihood of local artisan-al miners in and out of the mining district, through specific mining techniques which must be in line with the mine law and contract of the Republic of Liberia.
Keywords: ASGM, Artisanal Gold Mining, WHO, World Health Organization, EPA, Environmental Protection Agency of Liberia, LWQS, Liberia Water Quality Standards
Edition: Volume 11 Issue 6, June 2022,
Pages: 334 - 341