ZIMSEC O Level Geography Notes: Natural Resources:Mining:Rehabilitation of mine areas
- Land rehabilitation is the process of returning the land in a given area to some degree of its former state, after some process (industry, natural disasters, etc.) has resulted in its damage.
- Many projects and developments will result in the land becoming degraded, for example mining, farming and forestry.
- Mine areas can be rehabilitated by planting trees to stabilize dumps.
- Where dragline is used, overburden is dumped into the previous quarry site and thus the land is reclaimed as the mining progresses.
- Large quantities of fertilizers and irrigation water are required in the revegetation of land.
Problems of rehabilitating mine dumps.
- In Hwange, spontaneous combustion of dumps during the hot season make re-vegetation difficult.
- Soils are usually sterile or they contain toxic substances which retard the growth of plants.
- A lot of time and money is spent each year on research designed to find suitable tree species which can be grown.
- Materials on old dumps are loose/unconsolidated. Excessive drainage makes it difficult for plants to grow.
- Extreme acidification of surface materials retards plant growth.
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