Journal of Earth Sciences and Geotechnical Engineering

Impact Evaluation of Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining on Land Use Land Cover: Implication for Sustainable Mining Environment in Niger State, Nigeria

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  • Abstract

     

    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.