Mining footprint: a spatial indicator of environmental quality—a case study of a manganese mine in Bhandara district, Maharashtra

  • Suranjan SinhaEmail author
  • Surajit Chakraborty
  • Dipankar Shome
Original Paper


In a mining region, during the life period of a mine, large footprints are created. By implementing an effective environmental management plan, mining footprint can be largely reduced. To examine the effectiveness of the control measures, it is essential to use indicators for monitoring of environmental quality of a mine site. Existing indicators have major limitations because they fail to provide a snapshot view of the impacted zone but mostly depend on comparison with the threshold limits of pollution that are stipulated by the government. The paper focuses on development of spatial indicators using an approach based on spatial analysis of environmental quality data in the areas surrounding a mine site. An indicator that provides a condensed view of the impacted zone is a useful planning tool for the mine planners. Since mining footprint can demonstrate the extent of environmental impact zone around a mine site, therefore, a spatial indicator can be designed on the basis size of a mining footprint. Seventeen air, sixteen soil, five surface water and six groundwater samples from a manganese mining region in Bhandara district, Maharashtra, were analysed. Water quality sample results are within permissible limits. By conducting both spatial and statistical data analyses using geographical information system and principal component analysis, air and soil quality maps are prepared. Using the spatial air and soil quality data, footprints of mining are delineated on these maps. Before mine closure, in phased manner, the size of the mining footprint should be significantly reduced. The estimated value of the spatial indicator is twelve, which implies that mining footprint is twelve times the mine work zone.


Spatial data analysis Principal component analysis Geographical information system Interpolation Overlay analysis 



The authors acknowledge the support by MOIL, Government of India, by granting a research work on mining sustainability in the year 2014.


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suranjan Sinha
    • 1
    Email author
  • Surajit Chakraborty
    • 2
  • Dipankar Shome
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Mining EngineeringIIEST, ShibpurHowrahIndia
  2. 2.Department of Environment ManagementIISWBMKolkataIndia
  3. 3.Manganese India Ore Limited (MOIL)NagpurIndia

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