Liberia is endowed with an impressive stock of mineral reserves and has traditionally relied on mining, namely iron ore, gold, and diamonds, as a major source of income. The recent growth in the mining sector has the potential to contribute significantly to employment, income generation, and infrastructure development. However, the development of these mineral resources has significant environmental impacts that often go unnoticed. This paper presents an overview of the Liberian mining sector from historical, current development, and economic perspectives. The efforts made by government to address issues of environmental management and sustainable development expressed in national and international frameworks, as well as some of the environmental challenges in the mining sector are analyzed. A case study was conducted on one of the iron ore mines (China Union Bong Mines Investment) to analyze the effects of the water quality on the local water environment. The results show that the analyzed water sample concentrations were all above the WHO and Liberia water standard Class I guidelines for drinking water. Finally the paper examines the application of water footprint from a life cycle perspective in the Liberian mining sector and suggests some policy options for water resources management.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 18, 2017
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