River mining : project summary report

Harrison, D.J.; MacFarlane, M.; Mitchell, P.; Fidgett, S.; Scott, P.W.; Eyre, J.M.; Mathers, S.J.; Weeks, J.M.. 2003 River mining : project summary report. Nottingham, UK, British Geological Survey, 28pp. (CR/03/198N) (Unpublished)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 beside the river. 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. Specific objectives of the project include: ● resource exploration and resource mapping at the project’s field study sites (Rio Minho and Yallahs rivers in Jamaica) ● analysis of technical and economic issues in aggregate mining, particularly river mining ● determination and evaluation of the environmental impacts of river mining ● evaluation of social/community issues in the context of river mining ● investigation of alternative land and marine aggregate resources ● review of the regulatory and management framework dealing with river mining; establishment of guidelines for managing these resources and development of a Code of Practice for sustainable river sand and gravel mining. The ‘Effective development of river mining’ project is multidisciplinary, involving a team of UK specialists. It has been led by a team at the British Geological Survey comprising David Harrison, Andrew Bloodworth, Ellie Steadman, Steven Mathers and Andrew Farrant. The other UK-based collaborators are Professor Peter Scott and John Eyre from the Camborne School of Mines (University of Exeter), Dr Magnus Macfarlane and Dr Paul Mitchell from the Corporate Citizenship Unit at the University of Warwick, Steven Fidgett from Alliance Environment and Planning Ltd and Dr Jason Weeks from WRc-NSF Ltd. The research project is generic and applicable to developing countries worldwide, but field studies of selected river systems have been carried out in Jamaica and review studies have been undertaken in Costa Rica. Key participants in these countries have included Carlton Baxter, Coy Roache and Larry Henry (Mines and Geology Division, Ministry of Land and Environment, Jamaica), Paul Manning (formerly Mines and Geology Division, Ministry of Land and Environment, Jamaica) and Fernando Alvarado (Instituto Costariccense de Electricidad, Costa Rica). The authors would like to thank the many organisations in Jamaica and Costa Rica who have contributed to the project. In addition to the collection of data, many individuals have freely given their time and advice and provided the local knowledge so important to the field investigations. This report is the project Summary Report based on the technical project output reports listed below: ● Geology and resources of the lower Rio Minho and Yallahs Fan-delta, Jamaica, 2003. A R Farrant, S J Mathers and D J Harrison, British Geological Survey ● Aggregate production and supply in developing countries with particular reference to Jamaica, 2003. P W Scott, J M Eyre (Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter), D J Harrison and E J Steadman, British Geological Survey ● Assessment of the ecological effects of river mining in the Rio Minho and Yallahs rivers, Jamaica, 2003. J Weeks, WRc-NSF Ltd and D J Harrison, British Geological Survey ● Scoping and assessment of the environmental and social impacts of river mining in Jamaica, 2003. M Macfarlane and P Mitchell, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick ● Alternative sources of aggregates, 2003. DJ Harrison, British Geological Survey ● Alluvial mining of aggregates in Costa Rica, 2003. Fernando Alvarado Villalón (Costa Rican Institute of Electricity), D J Harrison and E J Steadman, British Geological Survey ● Planning guidelines for management of river mining, 2003. S Fidgett, Alliance Environment and Planning Ltd Details of how to obtain these reports and more information about the ‘Effective development of river mining’ project can be obtained by contacting the Project Manager, David Harrison at the British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham, UK, email: Summaries of these technical reports, including the key research findings, are given in the following pages. Aggregate resources, economics and supply issues are dealt with first, and following sections of the report describe socioenvironmental impact assessment methods, procedures and results. Strategies for more effective management of river sand and gravel mining are given in the planning guidelines and Code of Practice.

Item Type: Publication - Report
Programmes: BGS Programmes > Economic Minerals
ISBN: 0852724683
Funders/Sponsors: British Geological Survey, Department for International Development (DfID), WRc-NSF Ltd, Warwick Business School, Alliance Environment and Planning Ltd, University of Exeter
Date made live: 03 Apr 2020 14:59 +0 (UTC)

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