Ecosystem restoration strategies in the mining industry: a case study of resolute Amansie Limited

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This study sought to evaluate the Resolute Amansie Limited’s (RAL) reclamation efforts particularly its objectives, strategies, and impact on the restoration of the degraded forest ecosystems. The methodology involved field inventory focusing on species diversity, soil development within the concession as well as the socioeconomic survey in the fringed communities in assessing the success of RAL’s reclamation programme. The vegetation survey was conducted in nine — one hectare plots located in three different sites namely: waste dump, tailings dams and control sites. In all, 123 different species of plant were identified in the concession. Species composition at the three study sites however differed significantly (p = 0.0082) with the control sites where mining activities had been excluded being richer than the reclaimed sites. Species richness correlated positively with site soil fertility, age of site reclamation and site activity. Plant species found to be more prevalent on the concession were Acacia mangium, Senna siamea, Chromolaena odorata and Aichornea cordfolia. Dominance of these species resulted mainly from species utilization in reclamation activities and / or species invasiveness. Twelve different vertebrate fauna were also identified indicating that fauna niches and habitats are being established on the reclaimed sites. These results suggest that RAL’s reclamation strategies could impact positively on the recovery of pre-mining species composition. The success however is contingent upon efficient reclamation strategy in recruiting more native species as well as effective community involvement in the different phases of reclamation programme. Identification and provisions of more alternative sources of livelihoods in the fringed communities would play a critical role in the success and sustainability of RAL’s reclamation programme.
A thesis submitted to the College of Science in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the degree of Master of Science, 2005