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Development of a Geographic Information Systems Baseline Spatial Geodatabase Template for Evaluating Potential and Predicted Environmental Impacts for Sustainable Environmental Impact Assessment of Mining in Sierra Leone

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Document pages: 23 pages

Abstract: Baseline Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of mining projects in Sierra Leone creates a challenging environment for data collection and impact prediction. Application of geographic information systems provides suitable spatial analysis data collection methods to reduce the challenges created by mining environments. This research develops a baseline spatial geodatabase template for evaluating potential and predicted environmental impacts assessment of mining projects in Sierra Leone. It is observed that spatial analysis of impacts of mining projects on the environmental attributes, especially air, noise, water, land, and socio-economy in mining areas is largely unexplored in Sierra Leone. The literature review revealed that no complete GIS spatial data geodatabase collection template appears to have been developed to date to provide an integrated sustainable spatial analysis and modelling tool for EIA and environmental management of mining in Sierra Leone. Therefore developing a Geographic Information Systems baseline geodatabase template for the evaluation of potential and predicted environmental impact for sustainable environmental impact assessment of mining in Sierra Leone will: 1) provide support to the data acquisition process of environmental impact assessment, 2) offer a concept for developing analysis methods for environmental management of mining, 3) minimize the undesired environmental impacts of mining, and 4) give an optimal proposal for data collection and analysis of mining industry in attaining sustainable development in Sierra Leone. Due to the limited available data, a conceptual GIS database template has been developed rather than a database case study of a mining site. No site investigation and data collection were undertaken. The geospatial database template was designed using ArcCatalog, ArcGIS 10.7.1. software, through the following steps: exploration of the general data requirement of environmental impact assessment studies of mining, the definition of the general baseline datasets requirement of environmental impact assessment in mining, structuring of the environmental impact assessment baseline spatial geodatabase, creating the geographic geodatabase dictionary, selecting, matching geographic data with geodatabase structure, designing the feature class and attributes, creating the baseline GIS geodatabase template. The GIS spatial geodatabase template has several advantages for environmental impact assessment of mining including avoiding data redundancy, integrating data into a single database, creating uniformity in data collection, easy to find and track data, integrated spatial and non-spatial data, and reducing the volume of data.

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