Effects of Barite Mining on Water Quality in Azara-Awe Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, Nigeria
This study seeks to ascertain the extent of barite mining pollution on water quality in Azara-Awe Local Government Area of Nasarawa state of Nigeria. To achieve this goal, two surface water and fourteen underground water samples were obtained in the study area. Nitric acid (0.2%) was added to water samples to preserve them for laboratory tests. The analysis was carried out at the Analytical Laboratory of the National Metallurgical Development Agency, Jos Nigeria. The parameters analyzed includes; Temperature, pH, Conductivity, Salinity, Total Dissolved Solid, Nitrate, Sulphate, Iron, Tin, Zinc, Copper, Cyanide, Cadmium, Chromium, Total Hardness, Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese and Nickel. The analyzed results were compared to the permissible limits as prescribed by the Federal Ministry of Environment of Nigeria. Results reveal that all parameters of the analyzed surface water fell within the permissible limits. Findings from the fourteen underground water samples analyzed indicate that most of the parameters are within the permissible limits, except sample one whose copper content 0.137mg/l is above the permissible limit of 0.1mg/l. Of the Samples, samples 10 and 11 fell within the permissible limit of total hardness, while samples 4 and 12 were above the permissible limit of 50mg/l of Magnesium content. It is pertinent to introduce sustainable measures in the process of barite mining to reduce its impacts on underground water quality. There is need for an advocacy campaign to enlighten artisanal barite miners on the direct link between their operations and environmental degradation.