Essay On Small Scale Mining

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Small scale mining is when a group of people come together with an idea to search for an area rich in minerals to mine it (Hilson, 2001). Small-scale mining brings several benefits to some countries mainly in the form of employment and revenue but at the same time impacts negatively on the natural environment. Small-scale mining is usually common. e.g., in areas that are rich in gold, bauxite and diamonds. However, Ntibrey (2015) found out that most small-scale miners popularly engage in gold mining. Gold is one of the world’s most cherished and expensive minerals; Gold is a product of the natural environment and hence people use any means to extract it. This has become a major environmental issue in areas which are rich with these minerals especially Ghana and some parts of Africa and Asia (Hilson, 2002). It is estimated that globally more than 12-15 million miners including 4 million women and over 1 million children are involved in small scale gold mining (ILO, 2013). According to Tschakert and Singha (2007) about 85% of the total labour force operates without an official license. The extraction of gold releases arsenic trioxide, Sulphur dioxide, and cyanide into the environment (Hilson, 2001). The small scale illegal miners also add heavy metals like mercury in their operations.…show more content…
The land degradation occurs when this process creates pits and deep holes in the mine sites (Ntiamoah, 2000). One major environmental impact of small scale mining is land degradation (Hilson, 2002). This is mainly due to the method used in the operation. According to (Aryee et al., 2003; Hilson, 2002) the method involves ploughing trenches, upturning of vegetation and clearing of huge expanses of forest, these activities leaves the land bare which can leads to land erosion. The potential mine sites are mostly stripped bare of the vegetation and topsoil (Kessey et al.,
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