Effects of mining operations on air and water quality in Mufulira district of Zambia : a case study of Kankonyo township.
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Air and water pollution in the Zambian Copper Mining Industry is considered to be one of the most significant environmental problems facing the communities living in and around the mining operation areas. It is quite a complex issue which cuts across various environmental, social, economic and political dimensions.This thesis highlights the effects of mining operations on air and water quality in Kankoyo area of Mufulira district. Recent investments and technological improvement in the copper mining and copper processing plants have had a significant positive impact on the capture of sulphur dioxide emissions as well as minimizing mine effluent discharges into the natural streams. However, numerous reports still cite air and water pollution in Kankoyo as one of the major environmental problems. The investigation involved sampling of the ambient air, mine effluent discharge and domestic water samples and the subsequent determination of sulphur dioxide and various water quality parameters respectively. The results obtained indicate significant reductions in terms of sulphur capture and sulphur dioxide emissions from the Copper Smelter. The average sulphur capture was 48% from 2007 to 2013 and about 94% from 2014 to 2018. The average annual sulphur dioxide emissions for 2017/2018 at 144.5µgm3 in Kankoyo Township were 15.6% above the statutory limit of 125µgm3 in ambient air (µgm3 /24hrs). The general water quality meets the allowable statutory limits despite that the water quality in this area may not only be attributed to the mining activities but also from the dilapidated water infrastructures which may be the likely source of alternative contamination. Key Words: SDGs, scientific, environment, pollution, effluent, emissions
The University of Zambia
- Mines