Alluvial mining of aggregates in Costa Rica

Alvarado-Villalon, F.; Harrison, D.J.; Steadman, E.J.. 2003 Alluvial mining of aggregates in Costa Rica. Nottingham, UK, British Geological Survey, 37pp. (CR/03/050N) (Unpublished)

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Throughout the developing world river sand and gravel is widely exploited as aggregate for construction. Aggregate is often mined directly from the river channel as well as from floodplain and adjacent river terrace deposits. Depending on the geological setting, in-stream mining can create serious environmental impacts, particularly if the river being mined is erosional. The impacts of such mining on farmland, river stability, flood risk, road and bridge structures and ecology are typically severe. The environmental degradation may make it difficult to provide for the basic needs (water, food, fuelwood, communications) of communities naturally located in the river valleys. Despite the importance of this extractive industry in most developing countries, the details of its economic and environmental geology are not fully understood and therefore do not adequately inform existing regulatory strategies. The main problem is therefore a need to strengthen the general approach to planning and managing these resources. Compounding the problem is the upsurge of illegal extractions along many river systems. There is therefore a need to foster public awareness and community stewardship of the resource. The project ‘Effective Development of River Mining’ aims to provide effective mechanisms for the control of sand and gravel mining operations in order to protect local communities, to reduce environmental degradation and to facilitate long-term rational and sustainable use of the natural resource base. This project (Project R7814) has been funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) as part of their Knowledge and Research (KAR) programme. This programme constitutes a key element in the UK’s provision of aid and assistance to less developed nations. The project started in October 2000 and terminates late in 2004.

Item Type: Publication - Report
Programmes: BGS Programmes > Economic Minerals
Funders/Sponsors: British Geological Survey, Department for International Development (DfID)
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: This item has been internally reviewed, but not externally peer-reviewed.
Date made live: 24 Mar 2020 14:06 +0 (UTC)

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