Assessment of Heavy Metal Pollution and Ecological Risks in Mining Areas of Didango, Taraba State: Bridging Gaps for Environmental Management




Artisanal Mining, , Ecological Risk, Heavy Metals, Soil Contamination, Taraba State


Study’s Excerpt/Novelty

  • This study assesses the environmental impact of heavy metal pollution resulting from artisanal mining activities in Ruwan Gishiri and Alpha, Nigeria.
  • Utilizing a Microwave Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrophotometer, the research revealed that cadmium (Cd) levels in the soil exceeded maximum permissible limits and posed the highest ecological risk, contributing to 97.17% of the total ecological risk in the area.
  • The findings underscore the urgent need for implementing stringent mining controls to mitigate heavy metal pollution and protect both the local community and environment.

Full Abstract

This study assessed the extent of heavy metal environmental concerns resulting from the increasing artisanal mining activities in the area.  Due to the volume of mining activity in Ruwan Gishiri and Alpha, two mining locations were investigated.  Four mining pits were sampled at two depths (0 – 15 cm for top soils and 15 – 30 cm for sub-soils) for each of the two mining locations.  Twenty (20) soil samples were collected overall, including two control samples that were also collected from each mining site.  The soil samples were analyzed for Al, Cu, Fe, Cd, Cr, Ni, and Pb using a Microwave Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrophotometer (42010 MP-8ES).  The study found that the levels of heavy metals in soil samples taken from Ruwan Gishiri and Alpha mining areas were ranked as follows: Al, Fe, Pb, Cu, Cd, Ni, and Cr.  The concentration of Cd exceeded the maximum permissible limits for soil.  Cd also has the highest ecological risk (ErF = 35.25 – 249.38), followed by Pb (ErF = 0.26 – 10.78), while Cr had the lowest risk factor (ErF = 0.001 – 0.006).  The findings also showed that Cd was attributable to 97.17 % of the area's total ecological risk factor.  The overall ecological risk of metals under study ranges from low to moderate, according to the risk index (RI) results.  These findings demonstrated the urgent need for mining activity controls in the study area to protect the local community and environment from heavy metal pollution.

Author Biography

Mustapha Zakariya Karkarna, Department of Environmental Management, Bayero University Kano, PMB 3011, Kano State, Nigeria.

Mustapha Zakariya Karkarna is an Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Management, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria.


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How to Cite

Garba, Y. I., Karkarna, M. Z., Jerusha, S. T., & Musa, D. M. (2024). Assessment of Heavy Metal Pollution and Ecological Risks in Mining Areas of Didango, Taraba State: Bridging Gaps for Environmental Management. UMYU Scientifica, 3(3), 8–15.