This study evaluated the impact of artisanal and small-scale
mining on land use land cover as it applies to sustainable mining environment
in Niger State, Nigeria. Thus, thirteen different mining locations covering the
three geo-political locations were geo-referenced. The satellite imagery of
Landsat TM and EMT+ from Global Land Cover Facilities (GLCF) and Earth Explorer
(EE) for tri-images (1994, 2004 and 2014) at 30m resolution was obtained to
establish the changes that occurred over the study years. Landsat imageries
were analyzed with the aid of computer-based GIS ILWIS 3.3. The imageries were
classified into degraded land, settlement, vegetation and water body. Results
showed that in 1994, 33.4% of the land use was degraded due to mining,
settlement accounted for 3.7% and vegetation covered 59.2%. In 2004, 21.1% of
the land was degraded, vegetation decreased from 59.2% in 1994 to 30.9% in
2004. In 2014, land degraded to 47.36%, settlement expanded to 16.06%,
vegetation covered 24.22% and water body occupied 12.37% of the mining sites.
Within the study period, mining sites increased from 30,000km2 (33%)
to 48,000km2 (45%) indicating the severity of mining impact.
Therefore, the government should develop strategic mining policy framework
targeting a sustainable mining operation in Niger State.
Keywords: Mining Effects, Artisanal mining, Environment, Land
degradation, Niger State.