The Characteristics and Fertility Status of Tin Mine Spoils of the Jos Plateau, Nigeria
AbstractA laboratory study was carried out to determine some physico-chemical properties of five categories of tin mine spoil soils of the Jos Plateau. These categories include reclaimed cropped spoil (RCS), reclaimed uncropped spoil (RUS), mining (intermound) depressions (MD), spoil mounds (SM) and surrounding flat land (SFL). Unmined Ropp soil (URS) was included as control. RCS had significantly (P < 0.05) higher amounts of total nitrogen (1.6 g kg-1) and organic carbon (13.7 g kg-1) while URS, which had the lowest organic carbon content (3.4 g kg-1), although not significantly (P > 0.05) different from SM and MD, had a significantly higher available phosphorus content (18.44 g kg-1). RUS had a significantly higher amount of silt (307 g kg-1) followed by RCS (268 g kg-1). The large silt content of RUS and RCS is a reflection of the aeolian origin of the parent material of the soil used in the reclamation of the mine spoils. Copper was present in varying quantities in all categories of the mine spoils with the least contents in the reclaimed cropped and reclaimed uncropped soils. This was attributed to the presence of metal ore bodies in the rocks below the soil profile of mine spoils that could have contributed to the trace element contents of soils in its immediate vicinity. Generally, the differences observed in the magnitude of soil physical and chemical properties were as a result of management practices rather than the inherent soil type characteristics.
Key words: Jos Plateau, mine spoils, tin, reclamation, soil characteristics, Nigeria
Nigerian Journal of Soil Research Vol.5 2004: 44-52