Impacts of Gold Mining Activities on Vegetation Cover and Carrying Capacity (Case Study: Butana Rangeland, Al-Sobag Locality - Gadarif State, Sudan)

Document Type : Research and Full Length Article


1 Ministry of animals Resources, Range and Pastures General Directory ', Khartoum, Sudan

2 Department of Range Science, College of Forestry and Range Science, Sudan University of Science and Technology

3 College of Forestry and Range Science, Sudan University of science and Technology, Sudan


This study was conducted at Butana locality, Gadarif State-Sudan in October 2018. The study aimed to assess the impacts of gold mining on natural rangeland. Two range sites were selected in the study area (Site A) that affected by gold mining activities and the other one (Site B) was not affected in the same zone. Each site was divided into four plots. The plot location randomly selected to represent the area of gold mining activities. Four line transects were established at each range site. At each transects, two transects of length 100m distributed systematically, and four quadrates of size 1×1 m placed with an interval of 25m. Data were analyzed for vegetation attributes; organized, tabulated and analyzed using standard range measurements equations. All data statistically analyzed (ANOVA) and mean comparisons were made using the Duncan procedure, SAS statistical program. The study found that there were significant differences between percentages of ground cover in terms of bare soil, rocks, litter, and plant cover in the location close to the mining activities, there was an increase in the proportion of bare soil (56.37%) compared to the plant cover (2.25%). While there were no significant differences between the components of ground cover in the range site which was far from the mining area. Also, there were no significant differences in average biomass productivity for two areas (A & B), the range site near mining activity (A) produced about (13.16 g/m²) compared to the other range site which was located far-off from the mining activity (B) produced about (11.41 g/m²). The carrying capacity in the affected site (A) reaches about 0.026 Au/ha/year, compare to another site (B) 0.022 Au/ha/year. It was concluded that there are negative effects of traditional mining on the Al-Sobag rangeland, through increased bare soil, decreased ground coverage, and productivity.


Main Subjects

  • Receive Date: 22 July 2020
  • Revise Date: 04 July 2021
  • Accept Date: 24 July 2021
  • First Publish Date: 24 July 2021