Environmental and Health Implications of Coal Mining at Maiganga, Gombe State, Nigeria

Chibuisi Samuel Ikwuagwu

Journal of Environment Pollution and Human Health

Environmental and Health Implications of Coal Mining at Maiganga, Gombe State, Nigeria

Chibuisi Samuel Ikwuagwu

Department of Geology, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Umuahia, Nigeria


Coal occurrence, exploitation, Processing, and utilization have strong impact both on human health and the environment. This results from its composition and environment of occurrence. Maiganga Coal occurs in the Gombe sandstone. Result of the petrography analysis of the study area demonstrates high silica content and the presence of some elements in the mine. Chronic exposure to these materials by human and the environment poses substantial risks. Both the mineworkers and the Maiganga people that live in the area are daily exposed to these materials and the resultant effects. Pneumoconiosis, silicosis, Acid Mine Drainage (AMD), and water pollution are among the health and environmental risks interaction with Coal in the area poses. High ash and moisture contents of the coal samples as indicated by the proximate analysis posit some implications for the environment and health. The findings of this study indicate that two wells drilled to serve the Maiganga community are of poor quality, hence unfit for use because of the interference of the coal deposit in the area. Besides the established environmental and health challenges, there are potential health and environmental risks the Coal mining, use, and post-combustion disposal in the study area poses. These are what this paper underpins.

Cite this article:

  • Chibuisi Samuel Ikwuagwu. Environmental and Health Implications of Coal Mining at Maiganga, Gombe State, Nigeria. Journal of Environment Pollution and Human Health. Vol. 5, No. 1, 2017, pp 5-14. http://pubs.sciepub.com/jephh/5/1/2
  • Ikwuagwu, Chibuisi Samuel. "Environmental and Health Implications of Coal Mining at Maiganga, Gombe State, Nigeria." Journal of Environment Pollution and Human Health 5.1 (2017): 5-14.
  • Ikwuagwu, C. S. (2017). Environmental and Health Implications of Coal Mining at Maiganga, Gombe State, Nigeria. Journal of Environment Pollution and Human Health, 5(1), 5-14.
  • Ikwuagwu, Chibuisi Samuel. "Environmental and Health Implications of Coal Mining at Maiganga, Gombe State, Nigeria." Journal of Environment Pollution and Human Health 5, no. 1 (2017): 5-14.

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At a glance: Figures

1. Introduction

Coal has been a major means of fuel used in electricity generation. It has played a huge role in the development drive of several nations. Industrial revolutions had been powered by coal and the energy it supplied. In many countries coal is the primary source of energy [1, 2, 3, 4], and globally it provides around 27% primary energy [5] need and generates about 36% of the world electricity [6, 7]. Hence, coal contributes to economic development, promoting high standard of living of people. Today however, coal is viewed by many as a menacing evil that threatens the climate, hence must be discarded. But, most of the developing world still views coal as a means to economical growth [8] and addressing energy generation and supply deficiency. However, this is, in most cases without balancing economic and environmental considerations [9].

In spite of the role coal plays, there are strong evidences of coal’s impact on human health and the environment during every stage of its mining, use, and post-combustion disposal. Air pollution generated by coal mining and combustion in power plants [10] can affect the environment and human health, especially the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, and cause poor growth of the foetus before birth, cancer, abnormal neurological development in children and pneumoconiosis. Major pollutants from coal mining and burning that negatively impacts the environment and health [11, 12, 13] include sulphur dioxide (SO2), oxides of nitrogen, particulate matter, and carbon dioxide (CO2), which contribute immensely to climate change. Coal associated heavy metals [14, 15, 16, 17] even at low concentration pollute the environment. Coal mining impact the environment adversely by causing interference with groundwater quantity and quality, impacts on river flows and consequential impact on other land- -uses, land subsidence, issues associated with mining wastes disposal, creation of geological hazards and visible and esthetical issues [18].

The yawning gap in power generation and supply has prompted the Nigerian government to diversify its power base, adding coal to the energy mix [19]. Nigeria has abundant coal deposits at different locations in the country [20]. The Nigerian Coal Corporation (NCC) formed in 1950 operated two underground mines, Okpara and Onyemeama, and two surface mines, Orukpa and Okaba, which are located on the Eastern edge of the Anambra Coal Basin [21]. Most of these coal deposits were exploited for use as fuel and for export. However, there has been geometric decrease of coal mining and use after 1959, owing in part to the discovery of petroleum and the civil war. But, recently coal mining started at Maiganga, Gombe state. The coal is used by Ashaka Cement PLC for its power plant [22]. The aim of this study is to evaluate the environmental and health risk of the Maiganga coal mining, use, and disposal.

2. Geomorphology and Physiograpghy of the Study Area

The Maiganga Coalfield is 140km from Ashaka Cement plant and some 32km due south of Gombe, Gombe State, Nigeria. This is about 40km by road from the city of Gombe. The area falls within the Pindiga area. Maiganga is located near the southern limit of the Gombe plateau (Figure 3.1).

The Gombe plateau forms the central highland of which the river system drains into the Gongola River to the north and east. To the west, the drainage is flowing into unnamed tributary of the Benue Rivers that flows through the Yankari National Park. The Plateau forms on intermediate step between the lowlands along the eastern border of Nigeria and the more elevated Jos plateau to the west. The Gombe plateau is elongated in a north- south direction. It is 150km long and at its widest, 50km from east to the west, south of Gombe.

3. Local Geology of Maiganga

Maiganga (Figure 3.1), a small village in Kumo, capital of Akko local government area of Gombe State is 40km by road from Gombe town. The village lies within the Gombe Sandstone [23], adjacent to and above the Pindiga Formation. Whereas the Pindiga Formation was deposited under marine condition, the Gombe Sandstone was laid down in non-marine, possibly delta plain condition. Geological mapping shows that actually the Gombe Sandstone is a sequence of estuarine and deltaic sandstones, shales, and ironstones which overlie the sediments of the Zambuk ridge [24] and the Chad Basin.

Figure 3.1. Map of Gombe State indicating the study area

4. Materials and Methods

During the geological mapping, Global Positioning System (GPS), maps (Gombe sheet 152 of the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency maps, etc), Compass-clinometers, measuring tapes and rulers, hammers, and sample bags (for sample collection) were used.

Detailed geological mapping at Maiganga and environs (Figure 4.1) took place and un-weathered in situ samples collected for further study and analysis. Stream channels and Wells served as the only means of exposure of the Gombe Sandstone [25] until at the Maiganga Coal mine were the formation is clearly exposed. Sandstone, shale and coal samples were collected at various locations. Five coal samples were then analyzed for the chemical properties to determine their quality. Petrography analysis was carried out on the sandstone samples to determine their compositions.

Two samples each were collected from seams A and B being exposed and mined at the Maiganga coal mine. The samples were collected at location 1 stops 1, 2, 3, and (Li, S1 4) as indicated at Figure 4.1.

Having pulverized each of the coal samples collected from various locations in the coal mine, they were packaged and well-labelled Maiganga A1, A2, B1 and B2; then proximate and sulphur analysis were carried on each (A fifth sample from a different study area was analyzed alongside the four sample, but it is not relevant for the current paper). The Maiganga A1 and A2 are from different locations on seam A and Maiganga B1 and B2 are from seam B. Also, petrography analysis was carried out on two sandstone samples from the coal mine.

4.1.1. Moisture Content

This is determined by heating an air-dried coal sample at 105°C – 110°C (221°F – 230°F) under specified conditions until a constant weight is obtained.

Materials: Crucible, oven, balance, tong, desiccators and 5 prepared coal samples.


1. Weigh empty clean crucible as Wt1.

2. Weigh 1g of coal sample, Wt2 into the crucible. Weight of crucible + sample is recorded as Wt3.

3. Introduce the crucible + sample into the oven at 110°C and leave for one hour.

4. Remove from oven, cool in the desiccators and re-weigh. This is recorded as Wt4.

4.1.2. Volatile Matter

The volatile matters of the coals were determined rigidly controlled by standards. In Australian and British laboratories, this involves heating the coal sample to 900±5°C (1650±10°F) for 7 minutes in a cylindrical silica crucible in a muffle furnace. American Standard Procedures involves heating to 950±25°C (1740±45°F) in a vertical platinum crucible. These two methods give different results and thus the method used must be stated. Here, the former was used.

Materials: Crucible, furnace, tong, balance, desiccators, and 5 prepared coal samples.


1. Weigh empty clean crucible as Wt1

2. Weigh 1g of coal sample, Wt2 into the crucible. Weight of crucible + sample is recorded as Wt3.

3. Introduce the crucible + sample into the furnace at a temperature of 9000C and leave for 7 minutes

4. Remove from furnace, cool in the desiccators and re-weigh, record as Wt4

4.1.3. Ash Content

This analysis is fairly straight-forward, with the coals thoroughly burnt and the ashes material expressed as a percentage of the original weight.

Materials: Crucible, furnace, tong, balance, desiccators, and 5 prepared coal samples.


1. Weigh empty clean crucible as Wt1.

2. Weigh 1g of coal, sample, Wt2 into the crucible. Weight of crucible + sample is recorded as Wt3.

3. Introduce the crucible + sample into the furnace at temperature of 825°C and leave for one hour.

4. Remove from furnace, cool in the desiccators and re-weigh, record as Wt4.

4.1.4. Fixed Carbon

This is only arithmetic. Fixed carbon is simply determined by subtracting the percentages of moisture, volatile matter, and ash from the samples, i.e. 100% - %ash + %moisture + %volatile matter.

4.1.5. Calorific Value

Strictly speaking, the calorific value is neither part of the proximate analysis nor part of the ultimate analysis. It is in fact, one of the many physical properties of coal and is therefore discussed under it in several instances.

The calorific value is determined in a bomb calorimeter by either a static (isothermal) or an adiabatic method for coal analysis. In the isothermal method (ASTM D 3286; ISO 1928), a weighed sample of coal is burned in oxygen under controlled conditions and the calorific value is computed from temperature observation made before, during and after combustion, with appropriate allowances made for the heat contributed by other processes. The adiabatic method (ASTM D2015; ISO 1928) [26] consists of burning the coal sample in an adiabatic bomb calorimeter under conditions. The calorific value is calculated from observations made before and after the combustion. The computed value for the calorific value of coal is usually expressed in British thermal units per pound, kilocalories per kilogram, or kilojoules per kilogram (1.8Btu/lb = 1.0Kcal/kg = 4.187Kj/kg).

Materials: Crucible, bomb calorimeter (Leco AC-350), balance, 200ml water, and 5 prepared coal samples.


1. Weigh 1g of sample into the crucible.

2. Introduce into the combustion chamber (the crucible does not touch the bottom of the combustion chamber).

3. Put the combustion chamber + crucible + sample into the bomb and place into the container that has the 200ml of water inside the calorimeter. The stirrer under the cover of the bomb calorimeter ensures even distribution of the heat as it automatically stirs.

4. After 8 minutes, the reading is taken from the computerized readings by a side of the bomb calorimeter.

4.1.6. Total Sulphur

The samples were analyzed for total sulphur with the computerized XRF equipment. And the press method was employed.

Materials: Computerized XRF, sample cups, sample tray, printer, pistil, and 5 prepared coal samples.


1. Put on the computer and the printer after which you turn the key of the XRF clockwise. The machine will take about 2 hours to butt. Then click MINIPAL (the model of the machine) on the monitor to open.

2. Measure about ¾ of the sample into the sample cup. Use the pistil to press it in order to remove any air, cover and put on one of the sample positions in the tray (the tray has 12 sample positions). Select the sample position and label name on the screen.

3. Click MEASURE, as the tray appears, click the sample position, the 1% position on the system is selected for it to start the analysis. The result is displayed as it gets to the 100% mark.

4. Then the result recorded.

Note: Before you open the x-ray tube, it must be on the reference, R mark if not it will leak and kill the person instantly. And make sure the machine is not analyzing another sample at the moment.

Figure 4.1. Sketch Location map showing traverse points in area of study (Maiganga and environs)

5. Results and Discussion

5.1. Petrography Analysis

The study area consists of Gombe Sandstone, except for the volcanic activity that intruded it with a basalt hill. The megascopic description shows that the sandstone has brown and grey facies. The basalt is dark in colour. Whereas the sandstone is medium grained, the basalt is fine grained.

5.1.1. Microscopic Description

The microscopic section exposes the individual grains. The sandstone grains are sub-angular to rounded, consisting of about 85% Quartz, 10% Feldspar, and 5% Mica. The percentage of quartz makes it mono crystalline. It is evident that they approach a textural maturity and be best named quartz arenite based on Pettijohn (1987)-Plate [5.1] and Plate [5.2].

Plate 5.1. [photomicrograph of Gombe Sandstone M1 (Mg ×40)]: Alternate bands of angular to sub-angular quartz and mica minerals. There is alignment in a preferred direction shown by the mica observed under crossed nicols
Plate 5.2. [photomicrograph of Gombe Sandstone M1 (Mg × 40)]: Alternate Bands of angular to sub-angular quartz and mica minerals. There is alignment in preferred direction shown by the mica observed under crossed nicols

Table [5.1]. Proximate Analysis of Maiganga Coals

Table [5.2]. Total Sulphur Determination of Maiganga Coal

Figure 5.1. Sandstone and Siltstone rock units at a part of the maiganga mine
5.2. Potential Environmental and Health Risks

Geologically, the Maiganga Coal occurs in the Gombe Sandstone. As indicated in plate [5.1] and plate [5.2], the microscopic section of samples collected at the mine clearly demonstrates high silica content of the sandstone (Figure 5.1). Chronic exposure, in the long-term to the silica would therefore pose health and environmental challenges. The health impacts could be consequent upon ingestion of the rock particles, dust inhalation, and chronic skin exposure to the particles. The acute health effects resulting from coal mining are silicosis, psychoses, psychoneuroses and acute bronchitis and chronic respiratory problem and pneumoconiosis [27].

According to Ristovic [28], a number of environmental impacts [29] can occur as a result of coal excavation, such impacts includes; devastation of fertile agricultural land of forestry land, natural habitats destruction, change of natural landscape characteristics, destruction of the old and creation of the new geological forms, change of surface and groundwater regimes and currents, and their pollution by opencast waste waters, noise and vibration extend, land pollution by the opencast waste waters, etc. Owing to its low quality and sizable spread, significant overburden is excavated for efficient production. This implies that a large landmass is affected in the mining and overburden dump.

5.2.1. Dust Hazards Posed by the Maiganga Coal Air Pollution

Stages of coal mining operations generate dust to the environment. These stages include; clearance of the mine site, opening up of the mine, excavation, movement of mine vehicles, drilling, and evacuation of mined coals. The Maiganga coal, which is won by surface mining, a large surface area is exposed to the atmosphere (Figure 5.2). In an area such as the study area that is mostly dry, huge dust are generated by strong wind. A lot of dust are being generated at the Maiganaga coal mine, these generated dusts causes haze in the environment and contamination of soil and water. The quality of inhaled air in the mining area and surrounding communities [30] are polluted and unhealthy. During combustion, volatile elements such as F, Se, Hg, to a lesser extent As and pollutants such as NOX and SO2 [31] are released into the atmosphere in the form of fine ash, smoke, and flue gas [32] thereby causing considerable pollution. Worst still, health hazards such as asthma, pneumoconiosis, Silicosis, etc can result from the continuous inhalation of the various toxic materials from the mine and combustion site. Pneumoconiosis

Coal pollutants damage human health at every stage of the coal life cycle [33]. The inhalation of coal dust is responsible for so many types of diseases, one of which is Pneumoconiosis [32]. It is a chronic lung disease caused by the inhalation of dust [29] particles of various forms, particularly in industrial workplaces for an extended period of time [25]. Pneumoconiosis is caused by silica (rock and sand dust), asbestos, and coal dust. Cough, with or without mucous (sputum) production, chest tightness, or shortness of breath are the most common symptoms of Pneumoconiosis. However, at the early stage patients with pneumoconiosis may have no symptoms at all. Oxygen may be prevented from easily reaching the blood during breathing if pneumoconiosis involves a large part of the lungs or causes a lot of scarring [34], resulting in hymenia (low blood oxygen levels). Exposure to coal dust in high concentrations by workers makes the risk of Pneumoconiosis generally higher.

Pneumoconiosis caused by coal dust (and coal mine dust) is known as “coal workers pneumoconiosis” (CWP) or black lung disease. This is caused by prolonged exposure to coal dust. Miners and others who work with coal are afflicted by CWP. A very important factor in the development of CWP is the coal rank (percentage of carbon). Greater risk of pneumoconiosis is associated with higher carbon content of coal.

Figure 5.2. Cleared Maiganga Coal Mine site (2008)

By implication, workers at the Maiganga coal mine may not face high risk of developing CWP in the short term, but faces the risk in the long-term if there is chronic exposure to the coal dust. Also, pneumoconiosis risk is increased by silica contamination. Hence, pneumoconiosis may represent a mixture of coal pneumoconiosis and silicosis in some coal miners. From the result of the analysis and petrography (Plates [5.1] and [5.2]) of the sandstone of the study area, it is apparent that there is a case of high silica content in the mine. Consequently, chronic inhalation of the silica is capable of resulting in silicosis Silicosis

There is a massive silica occurrence in the Maiganga coal mine (as indicated in the microscopic description and Plates [5.1] and [5.2]) and the environs as a result of the Gombe sandstone, which hosts the coal deposit. This causes huge dust in the mine and its surroundings, posing health challenges, especially silicosis to those that are continuously exposed to the dust.

Silicosis which results from high and prolonged inhalation of silica dust can vary in severity, from minimal to severe [32]. It is a condition that causes severe scarring of the lungs. Lower levels of exposure to silica over many years most commonly lead to ‘chronic simple silicosis’ in which many small nodules of inflammation form in lungs [35]. However, there could be a graduation from chronic simple silicosis to ‘progressive massive fibrosis’ (PMF) in a small percentage, with many nodules growing together into large masses. ‘Accelerated’ or ‘acute silicosis’ can develop when there is a very intense exposure to silica over a shorter period of time. However, acute silicosis, which causes death in most cases is rare and generally occurs only in extremely high exposures to silica. Concomitant inhalation of other dusts like coal dust may lead to mixed pneumoconiosis.

5.2.2. Heavy Metals Hazards

Coal would normally have associated metals with it. These metals in most cases are in a very high concentration thereby posing serious threat to both plants and animals in the place of their occurrence. Even at low concentrations they are toxic, and may act as carcinogens. They are omnipresent [36] in the environment, occurring in varying concentrations in parent rock, soil, water, air and all biological matter [26]. Some of these heavy metals include; Pb, Mercury, Arsenic, cadmium, arsenic, etc.

5.2.3. Gas Hazards Methane

Methane (CH4) is a gas formed as a part of the process of coal formation. It is held in coal seams along naturally occurring fractures, pores and other macro-and micro-inhomogeneities [37], from where it is released to the surrounding disturbed strata during mining operations. Mine hazards occur when flammable gases (such as methane) trapped in the coal are released during mining operations and accident ignited. Being a surface mine however, CH4 hazard is highly reduced at the study area mine.

Surface mining is employed in winning the lignite deposit at Maiganga mine (Figure 5.2). This is because it is readily accessible; its veins located relatively near the surface, in a comparative shallow depth. This mining method at the Maiganga mine drastically reduces the risk of CH4 build up in the seams. Carbon Dioxide

Coal formation stages involve the conversion of plant materials buried under other layers of sediments to peat by aerobic and anaerobic degradation leading to the evolution [19] of water and carbon dioxide. Following geological metamorphism promoted by prevailing temperature and pressure, the water and carbon dioxide are driven off from the plant materials. By the result at Table [5.1], the Maiganga coal samples analysis and as low rank coal, much CO2 would be released from the Maiganga coal to the environment, especially when burnt. Carbon dioxide is a “green-house gas” and contributes to global warming. The burning of the coal in the power plants releases CO2 to the atmosphere, which contributes to climate change. Sulphur

The major forms of sulphur in coal are pyritic, organic and sulphate [38]. From the result of the sulphur analysis Table [5.2], the Maiganga Coal has low Sulphur content [39]. This implies that when burnt, the Maiganga coal may pose minimal environmental and health concerns.

5.2.4. Waste Dump

Waste dump consists of waste rocks and tailings [40]. As wind blows and sweeps dust along with it, waste dumps causes pollution of the atmosphere. The dust, when consistently inhaled for a long time could result to different kind of diseases. The waste dumps at the Maiganga coal are not distant to the mine and the community (L3S1 of Figure 4.1). Consequently, both the mineworkers and the community faces continuous exposure to dust generated by high velocity wind. Also, the dusts swept from the waste dump pollute the soil, rending it agriculturally weak.

A great landmass allotted for waste dumping is lost and a swampy environment is created in the vicinity of the waste dump.

Water that drains through the waste dump becomes toxic and a source of pollution to rivers seas and oceans. The case of Acid Mines Drainage (AMD) [41] results from the waste dumps at the mine as the oxidation of sulphide minerals [42] and release of acidity at rates that exceed the capacity of carbonate and aluminosilicate gangue minerals to neutralise the pH [27, 31, 43, 44]. High moisture content of the Coal of the study area makes AMD risk very high, needing effective planning for the waste.

5.2.5. Deforestation

As demonstrated Figure 5.2, the study area is made up of shrubs, which were cleared for the coal surface mining to take place. Surface mining of lignite generates pollution due to the change of the land use [26, 45] and land depletion. The cutting of trees in preparation for mining of coal deposits adversely affects the environment, promoting climate change. Deforestation aids the southward march of the Sahara desert and the growing incidence of erosion, thus, offsetting the related ecological hazards of desertification [46] and erosion. Also deforestation increases the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere thereby aiding global warming and oxygen is drastically reduced.

5.2.6. Hydrological Challenges

The interaction between the groundwater and coal deposit have caused serious pollution. At any place there is an interaction of coal deposit and the groundwater [47], even with surface water; the waters become unfit for domestic, animal and industrial use. At various locations in the study area, groundwater was encountered at different depths. Inside the coal mine, groundwater was already encountered at about 40m south-west of the mine. Also, in the host community (L3S1 at Figure 4.1), about 15m from the mine groundwater was encountered at about the same depth. Apparently, the yield is efficient, but the interaction between the coal deposit and the groundwater makes the water unfit for direct consumption or any form of use.

If unchecked or its regime remains not understood, maximum exploration and exploitation of local reserves can be hindered by groundwater encroachment. Frequently bedevilled by coal formation water is Acid-Mine-Drainage (AMD) [15, 43], which is deleterious to the health of both miners and equipment. Elevated concentrations of sulphate, metals (especially iron) and acidity are contained in Acid mine drainage waters. To be noted from the result of the analysis (Table [5.1]) is the high moisture content in the Maiganga coal samples, which should be very high if analyzed as mined. It is an indication of the possibility of seepage into the surface water through its high porosity, making the surface water in the area very hazardous. Furthermore, the flow of lubricants and toxic waste from plants and auto- workshops, which are carried into the available water would need to be checked to avoid pollution.

5.2.7. Hazards of Utilization

Coal utilization can cause problems. Many compounds (some of which are carcinogenic) are produced during the incomplete burning [48] or conversion of coal. SO2 and NOX that reacts with the atmosphere to form acid rain are produced by the burning of coal. In addition, particulate matter (fly ash) that can be transported by winds for several hundreds of kilometres and solids (bottom ash and slag) that must be disposed of is produced. Volatiles originally Trace elements originally present in the coal may escape as volatiles (e.g., chlorine and mercury) or be concentrated in the ash (e.g., arsenic and barium). Eventually, this results into greenhouse effect

Based on the result of the Maiganga coal (lignite) sample analysis (Table [5.1]), the coal has high ash content. This implies that its utilization would pose a serious challenge to the environment. Burning the coal would produce lots of ash, which when reacting with the atmospheric moisture produces acid rain. The fly ash produced could be transported to distant communities by the windy and dry nature of the study area, causing huge environmental hazards.

6. Conclusion

Mining and use of the Maiganga coal deposit has not lasted for a long time, yet there are obvious environmental and health implications that this paper have established. In addition, more importantly is the fact that there are enormous potential health and environmental impacts that results in the long-term if proper planning and measures are not adhered to.

From this paper, deforestation, which poses a grave challenge on the environment as a result of the mining activities at Maiganga has been established (Figure 5.2). Also, surface water contamination by the coal deposit at the study area, which has made the water unfit for use is indicated. Owing to mine operations huge dust from the sandstones and coal in the mine is daily being emitted. Although the effects so far have not been clearly determined, this is especially because the operations of the mine have not lasted for long. Yet, it has been established that most of the diseases such as silicosis and pneumoconiosis associated with coal mining takes long to manifest. Apparently also, is the fact that every causative agent that adversely affects both the environment and human health and the atmosphere that aids them are very much active at the Maiganga coal mine.

Therefore, drastic measures and industry best practices are needed to ensure that the environmental and health impacts of the mining and use of the lignite of the study area is hugely minimized in the short-term. Appropriate technologies would need to be deployed to achieve the minimization of the impacts posed by the lignite mining and usage. Reclamation of the mine would have to be strictly done and trees planted to replace those that were removed in the process of developing the mine. In the long-term, alternative sources of power, which are both environment and health friendly are needed.

The paper admits a limitation in the sample size. However, based on the fact that a few analyses of other studies (not on the subject of this paper) of the Maiganga coal deposit that involved large sample size are not different. Therefore, the sample size did not affect the outcome.

Due to some constraints, it was difficult to lay hold on environmental impact assessment of the mine. This paper recommends a thorough environment impact assessment on the coal mine for proper comparison study.


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