Gold Mining in Sudan Report prepared by SNAS

Artisanal gold mining activities has increased tremendously over the Sudanese arid and semi-arid environment of the country and has resulted in significant environmental and socioeconomic impacts. This paper aims at identifying the impact of artisanal gold mining on the deserts environment of Sudan and it is trying to draw a road map for attaining a smart traditional or artisanal gold mining.


This paper is a review article and therefore it is dependent to a great extent on a critical review of the available and reliable literature, as well as, the personal experience of the author. These impacts can be summarized as follows: defacing of landscape and consequent change in the natural hydrology of the mining areas, pollution of desert’s environment that occurs as result of gold extraction through using toxic and hazardous substances such as mercury, arsenic and cyanide, acid drainage which threatens the neighbouring rivers and ground waters. Therefore, pollution of ground and surface waters in nearby water body e.g. River Nile during the rainy season where rainwater will wash these pollutants polluting the previously mentioned sources. Moreover, Artisanal gold mining has resulted in polluting the soils of the neighbouring agricultural lands and range lands as well. Risks of accidents (land subsidence) and occupational hazards are significant and therefore cannot be ignored. With regard to socioeconomic impacts, they can be summarized as follows: improvement in the standard of living of the miners, agricultural and livestock production were negatively affected due to the abandonment of agricultural fields and range lands due to the fact that the majority of young people have joined the miners, spread of crime and drugs and alcohols and labour which in fact are children (below permissible working age). Artisanal gold mining should be organized by the Ministry of mining, raising the environmental awareness of the miners periodical training programmes for them on how to deal with use of chemical substance and how to handle and get rid of wastes to avoid all the negatively mentioned impact

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Last modified on Tuesday, 24 August 2021 07:09
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