The Newmont Ahafo Mine located at Kenyasi in the Ahafo Region of Ghana is primarily involved in gold mining using an open pit mining method. The process involves high levels of rock blasting. Blasting in surface mining is generally associated with several negative environmental impacts including excessive noise, ground vibration, structural damages and air pollution. This study was conducted to assess the environmental impact of rock blasting on the inhabitants of Kenyasi in the Asutifi North District of the Ahafo Region. This was done by determining the frequency of rock blasting vibration and its environmental impact on the surrounding communities. Primary and secondary data were obtained through questionnaires, fieldwork and historic data obtained from the Newmont Ahafo Mine. The rock blasting vibrations, overpressure, frequency and dust concentration levels in sampled air from various locations, i.e. at the blasting sites and its surrounding communities were measured. The concentration of the measurements at the blast sites exceeded EPA standards whereas the concentrations measured in the communities were below. Results from the administered questionnaires show that 83.3% of the respondents believed blasting has an environmental impact on the community but can be regulated to minimize its impact. The study has shown that most of the blasting vibration frequencies were less than 40Hz which can be considered as low according to international standards.
Published Date: 2020-08-01; Received Date: 2020-07-01