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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/9315

Title: Evaluation of some causes and prevention of accidents associated with Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM) within Asankrangwa and Kenyasi Environs, Ghana
Authors: Buadee, Nana Addae
Issue Date: 19-Oct-2016
Abstract: Sound health, safety and environmental management standards require hazard identification and risk assessments in order to institute measures to prevent accidents. In recent times, many accidents have been reported in some artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) areas in Ghana, which have resulted in loss of lives. Since most people are involved in these mining operations for sustenance, it is essential to identify the potential causes of these accidents and prescribe solutions thereof. Ten (10) ASM sites in the Asankrangwa and Kenyasi areas were selected for this study. Field studies and observations methods were employed to identify potential risks associated with their operations and preventive measures recommended. It was observed that alluvial and deep mining techniques were mostly used by the ASM operators. Hard grounds are blasted and excavated using either rudimentary materials or sophisticated equipment. The following steps are employed in the beneficiation process namely: crushing and milling, sluicing, panning and then mercury amalgamation and finally, roasting to recover the gold. Each of the processing stages has a certain degree of risk associated with it. Noise levels and silica dust levels were also monitored to determine the extent of exposure. Land use was also monitored to check the extent of land degradation. The risks were assessed using the semi-quantitative risk assessment tool and the necessary risk control actions applied. Seven hazard types were identified during the initial risk assessment using a 5x5 risk matrix representing HIGH to EXTREME risk significance range of (11-17) to (18-25) respectively. After inception of recommended controls, all the seven hazard types were reduced to MEDIUM and LOW risk significance range of (6-10) and (1-5) respectively. Fifty percent (50%) of the study sites showed HIGH fatality rates with the potential fundamental causes of accidents determined as: Use of explosives > Surface excavation > shaft sinking > treatment and processing > Working underground > Working in poorly consolidated terrains > Making tunnels. The noise and silica dust levels were all above the recommended occupational exposure limit and lands are also degrading rapidly. Risk assessment is recommended as necessary requirement for starting ASM ventures.
Description: A thesis submitted to The Materials Engineering Department in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of the Master of Science in Environmental Resources Management, 2016
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/9315
Appears in Collections:College of Engineering

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