Some socio-environmental problems are sometimes created as a result of certain peculiarity of the mineral industry. Since minerals are exhaustible and non-renewable commodities, the life of a mine and, consequently, the mining activities in a place have a limited time. The stoppage of mining activities imposed by depletion of the available reserves often leads to migration of people from the mining areas to other places
This may result in the formation of “ghost towns”, which are abandoned towns and previous bubbling mining communities. For example, Sofon Birnin Gwari was a town that once thrived on gold mining between 1914 and 1938 but was abandoned due to exodus of miners and prospectors to the Plateau tin fields in the early forties. Incidentally, the miners are currently returning to the Gwari area as a result of a new discovery of gold deposits in the place.
RADIATION HAZARDS AND ITS STUDY
Exposure to natural radiations emitted by some radioactive minerals is a major source of health hazards. The radiation intensity increases when the minerals are concentrated. It has been established that some minerals such as monazite, pyrochlore and xenotime, which are obtained as by products of tin mining in the Jos Plateau, are radioactive.
The particulate matter eventually gets deposited on the kola-nut leaves and flowers as well as the soil supporting the plants. The overall effect of this is that the photosynthetic and fruiting ability of the kolanut tree is impaired with a consequent decrease in kolanut production. Pollution can be grouped into different environmental situation in mineral exploration/exploitation areas. It can be observed from data collected for three years, that most of the pollution occurs on the land with few offshore.
Political changes and contradictions between centre and periphery where the exploration companies often represents the centre and the local communities the periphery which experience being exploited and not getting the benefits from a mineral deposit that they consider they are entitled to.
Radiation Hazards and Socio-Environment Problems of Exploration