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Evolution of the Koma Bangou Gold Panning Site (Niger) From 1984 to 2020 Using Landsat Imagery

Abstract : The severe drought of 1983-1984 in the Sahel region, and its socio-economic impacts for people relying on farming had for consequence the first major gold rush at Koma Bangou in the southwestern part of Niger. Initiated in 1984, the gold panning activities were interrupted from 1989 to 1999 with exploration permits assigned to the mining industry. The site was reclassified at the year-end 1999 as a gold panning site and artisanal mining resumed until present-day. Gold panning activities such as ore extraction and cyanide processing produced mining waste including rocks, mine tailings, and treatment residues. Mining waste is a serious environmental, health and safety problem. Multispectral Landsat images (TM4-5, ETM7+, OLI/TIRS) acquired between 1984 and 2020 were used to map the spatial evolution of waste generated by gold panning activities at Koma Bangou. Different processing methods were tested, including Minimum Noise Fraction (MNF) transform, Band Ratio (BR), and Feature Oriented Principal Component Selection (FPCS). The FPCS applied to hydroxyl-bearing minerals appears to be most efficient to map gold extraction and cyanidation waste areas. The waste surface associated with ore extraction has increased from 9.43 ha in 1984 to 234.20 ha in 2020, with continuous expansion during the period of clandestine activity (1989-1999). The waste surface associated with cyanidation has increased from 5.56 ha in 2009 (the year of cyanide treatment introduction) to 99.53 ha in 2020. Landsat multispectral imagery proved a suitable data source for monitoring the evolution of gold mining waste and consequences of public policies at Koma Bangou.
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Submitted on : Saturday, May 7, 2022 - 8:21:48 AM
Last modification on : Monday, May 16, 2022 - 4:13:44 PM

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Earth and Space Science - 2021...
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A. Abass Saley, D. Baratoux, L. Baratoux, K. E. Ahoussi, K. A. Yao, et al.. Evolution of the Koma Bangou Gold Panning Site (Niger) From 1984 to 2020 Using Landsat Imagery. Earth and Space Science, 2021, 8, ⟨10.1029/2021EA001879⟩. ⟨insu-03661457⟩

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