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Article

An Integrated Approach to Assess the Environmental Impacts of Large-Scale Gold Mining: The Nzema-Gold Mines in the Ellembelle District of Ghana as a Case Study

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School of Environment, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130117, China
2
State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Wetland Ecology and Vegetation Restoration, School of Environment, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130117, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Daniela Varrica
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 7044; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18137044
Received: 19 May 2021 / Revised: 25 June 2021 / Accepted: 28 June 2021 / Published: 1 July 2021
(This article belongs to the Collection Environmental Risk Assessment)
The mining industry is a significant asset to the development of countries. Ghana, Africa’s second-largest gold producer, has benefited from gold mining as the sector generates about 90% of the country’s total exports. Just like all industries, mining is associated with benefits and risks to indigenes and the host environment. Small-scale miners are mostly accused in Ghana of being environmentally disruptive, due to their modes of operations. As a result, this paper seeks to assess the environmental impacts of large-scale gold mining with the Nzema Mines in Ellembelle as a case study. The study employs a double-phase mixed-method approach—a case study approach, consisting of site visitation, key informant interviews, questionnaires, and literature reviews, and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) analysis method. The NDVI analysis shows that agricultural land reduced by −0.98%, while the bare area increases by 5.21% between the 2008 and 2015 periods. Our results show that forest reserves and bare area were reduced by −4.99% and −29%, respectively, while residential areas increased by 28.17% between 2015 and 2020. Vegetation, land, air, and water quality are highly threatened by large-scale mining in the area. Weak enforcement of mining policies, ineffective stakeholder institution collaborations, and limited community participation in decision-making processes were also noticed during the study. The authors conclude by giving recommendations to help enhance sustainable mining and ensure environmental sustainability in the district and beyond. View Full-Text
Keywords: Ghana; Ellembelle district; large-scale gold mining; environmental impacts; normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) Ghana; Ellembelle district; large-scale gold mining; environmental impacts; normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI)
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MDPI and ACS Style

Usman Kaku, D.; Cao, Y.; Al-Masnay, Y.A.; Nizeyimana, J.C. An Integrated Approach to Assess the Environmental Impacts of Large-Scale Gold Mining: The Nzema-Gold Mines in the Ellembelle District of Ghana as a Case Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 7044. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18137044

AMA Style

Usman Kaku D, Cao Y, Al-Masnay YA, Nizeyimana JC. An Integrated Approach to Assess the Environmental Impacts of Large-Scale Gold Mining: The Nzema-Gold Mines in the Ellembelle District of Ghana as a Case Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(13):7044. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18137044

Chicago/Turabian Style

Usman Kaku, Dawuda, Yonghong Cao, Yousef A. Al-Masnay, and Jean C. Nizeyimana 2021. "An Integrated Approach to Assess the Environmental Impacts of Large-Scale Gold Mining: The Nzema-Gold Mines in the Ellembelle District of Ghana as a Case Study" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 13: 7044. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18137044

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