In Ghana, young men and women conduct mining in small-scale with primitive methods that pose health and environmental risks. Among other things, mercury is used in the extraction of gold without any protective measures.
"We want to contribute to a better working environment, more efficient extraction process and that waste arising from mining is handled safely to prevent contamination of surrounding water," says Lena Alakangas, professor of Applied Geochemistry at Luleå University of Technology.
"We also had the opportunity to establish a first collaboration with large-scale mining industry in Ghana. Through our laboratories at LTU for Quantitative Target Mineralogy (QanTmin), we can support studies to increase the extraction of trace metals", says Thomas Aiglsperger, Associate Professor of Applied Geochemistry at Luleå University of Technology.
The project is funded by STINT, the Foundation for the Internationalization of Higher Education and Research, and is a collaboration between LTU and the Radiation Protection Authority in Ghana.
A new application is underway to deepen the collaboration with the Radiation Protection Authority in Ghana and to start a collaboration with Kwame University of Science and Technology (KNUTS) for supervision of a doctoral student on water quality related to small-scale mining.