Gold Mine Impact on Soil Quality, Youga, Southern Burkina Faso, West Africa

  • Wendkuuni Florentin CompaoreEmail author
  • Ann Dumoulin
  • Diederik P. L. Rousseau


The present study aims to assess the impact of a gold mine located in the southeastern part of Burkina Faso on local soil quality. This information is needed in order to determine any health hazards and potential remediation strategies as the mining site is expected to be turned over to the local community after the closure of the mine. For the purpose, total minor and trace elements analysis as well as a sequential extraction were performed and results were interpreted using different methodologies: enrichment factor (EF), geoaccumulation index (Igeo) computed using two separate background samples, and comparison to selected national standard. The soil analysis revealed a moderate to significant soil EF and Igeo with hotspots located closer to the ore processing plant and on the east side of the site, with a maximum arsenic concentration of 286.55 ± 12.50 mg/kg. Sequential extraction revealed, however, that less than 2% of the arsenic is found in the exchangeable part. Cobalt and zinc are more distributed in the different fractions than arsenic. Geogenic and anthropogenic contributions were revealed by the study.

Graphical Abstract



Enrichment factors Geoaccumulation index Gold mine Minor and trace elements Soil contaminants 



A word of thanks is given to the Health Safety and Environment Officers for helping with the on-field activities. The authors thank the Burkina Mining Company for authorizing this study.

Funding information

The first author received scholarship for the doctoral studies number 600026671 from the Islamic Development Bank.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Industrial Water and Ecotechnology, Department of Green Chemistry and TechnologyGhent University Campus KortrijkKortrijkBelgium

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