Adopted practices for mined land reclamation in Ghana: a case study of Anglogold Ashanti Iduapriem mine ltd
Although mining is an economic booster, its negative ecological backlashes have become a great concern to environmental experts, development planners and policy makers in the era of increasing environment and sustainable development concerns. Reclamation of derelict mine sites is necessary for restoration of ecological integrity but must be based on sound ecological principles. Using AngloGold Ashanti as a case study, this study was conducted to identify land reclamation practices in Ghana and draw implications for ecological sustainability. Using semistructured interviews, desk studies, focus group discussions and direct field observations, the study confirmed that AngloGold Ashanti adheres to the reclamation security agreement signed with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Acacia magium, Gliricidia sepium, Senna siamea and Leucaena leucocephala were the very important agroforestry multipurpose tree species used in the reclamation of the mined sites. The communities’ participation in the reclamation practice at the sites were frequent visits to reclaimed sites, permanent employment and casual labourers in maintaining trial farms. The adopted procedures and processes used in the reclamation of mined sites in Ghana as reminiscent in the company’s activities were: earthworks/ slope battering, spreading of oxide material, spreading of top soil, construction of crest drains and raising of cover crops to control run-off and erosion. Included also were tree planting, field maintenance-weeding, pruning and monitoring. Success criteria for the company’s reclamation were the ability of the reclaimed sites to support plants growth without further monitoring.
Keywords: Agroforestry multipurpose trees, land reclamation, mining, soil fertility, success criteria
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