Integrated reclamation planning of disconfigured landscape after surface mining operations at Ghana Consolidation Diamonds (GCD) Limited, Akwatia

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Mining land has hithero passed through a cycle of land – use which in general can be summarized as: the exploitation of virgin land for the particular mineral; abandonment of the land and subsequent dereliction; and, after an interval of decades, the treatment of that derelict land for some productive use. It is the intermediate derelict stage which has frequently been responsible for mining’s unfavourable public image. The Ghana Consolidation Diamonds (GCD) Limited which is located in Akwatia in the Eastern Region of Ghana has been in operation for a considerable period of time. The method of mining employed here is strip mining where the overburden is removed to expose the payable gravel horizon. Surprisingly, no conscientious effort has been made towards the rehabilitation of the mined lands. The object of this work is to design a reclamation plan for the area. To make the analysis easier, 1993 has been chosen as the base year and the total land areas mined at the Abosrchua terrace ground and at the deep alluvial flats of the Birim river of GCD have been used. The emphasis on this work is on reclamation in active mining although distinction is not made here between the reclamation of active and abandoned mined land. An acceptable mining, reclamation, and land – use scheme that is the most suitable under the technical, social, and economic conditions of the area, has been developed, Reclamation costs vary as a function of the desired end use of the reclaimed land. It is reasonable to expect that most reclaimed land will be returned to agricultural production – forest or cropland. It has been assumed that isolated instances, such as the terrace grounds, where affected lands may be particularly suited for recreation or residential development would not significantly alter the result of the analysis.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the Degree of Postgraduate (Professional) Diploma in Mining Engineering, 1994