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Crop production potential of reclaimed mine sites for sustainable livelihoods

Purpose: Potentiality of six reclaimed mine sites for crop production at Goldfields Ghana Limited, Tarkwa Mine was holistically assessed. Research methodology: Soil pH was traced using HI 9017 microprocessor meter while total nitrogen (TN), organic matter (OM) and organic carbon (OC) were determined by Kjeldahl digestion, distillation and Walkley-Black Methods. Calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), potassium(K), sodium (Na), were further determined in 1.0 M ammonium acetate (NH4OAc) extract, using hydrogen and aluminum in 1.0 M KCl, by EDTA titration and flame photometry.  Results: Optimum soil pH, compared with other parameters down the trend was less than 4.33. In cmolkg-1, OM at Ajopa natural forest soil (2.52) was greater than West Heap (2.08). TN differed significantly (p ≤ 0.001) such that, Ajopa natural forest (0.13%) was greater than West Heap (0.11%). West Heap Ca (3.52) was greater than Bridge Dump Ground (BDG’s) (1.78) while Mg (1.25) at BDG was greater than West Heap (1.22). West Heap’s K (0.16) was greater than BDG’s (0.13). Sodium was entirely low (< 5 %). But acidity of Ajopa natural forest (1.90) was greater than BDG’s (1.89) while effective cation exchange capacity (ECEC) of West Heap (5.95) was greater than BDG’s (4.68). Limitation: Study sites sparsely located and require more experience to locate sampling points. Contribution: Analyses clearly revealed poor agglomeration of cation exchange capacities due to inadequate fertility of the seven-year old reclaimed mine sites. Hence, it may not give good crop yields for sustainable economic livelihoods strategies without long-term augmented fertilization and liming. Keywords: Goldfields, Soil fertility, Mine reclamation, Cation agglomeration, Liming
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Benjamin Makimilua Tiimub, Niyungeko Christophé, Bernice Awusi Atepre, Richard Wonnsibe Tiimob, Gideon Lakida Tiimob, Elisha Nyannube Tiimob, Isaac Baani, Paul Amihere-Ackah, Joan Jackline Agyenta