Siting a centralised processing centre for artisanal and small-scale mining - a spatial multi-criteria approach

Author ORCID Identifier

Eric Stemn 0000-0002-7432-0993


Artisanal and small-scale mining is one of the global phenomena that is a threat to environmental health and safety. There are ambiguities in the manner in which an ore-processing facility operates. These ambiguities can cause environmental problems and hinder the mining capacity of these miners in Ghana. The vast majority of attempts to address these problems through the establishments of centralised processing centres have failed, with only a handful of successes. This research sought to use an established data-driven, geographic information based system to locate a centralised gold processing facility within the Wassa Amenfi-Prestea Mining Area in the Western region of Ghana. The study was designed to first determine the relevant factors that should be considered in the decision-making process for locating a centralised ore-processing facility. Secondly, it sought to implement the identified factors in a case study by identifying specific geospatial techniques that can best be applied to identify potential sites. By adopting in-depth consultations with four stakeholder groups for data collection and content analysis for data analysis, thirteen relevant factors were identified. However, in the case study, due to data unavailability, only seven of the factors were considered. Geoprocessing techniques including buffering and overlay analysis and multi-criteria decision analysis were employed to develop a model to identify the most preferred locations to site a centralised processing facility. Site characterisations and environmental considerations, incorporating identified constraints, to determine an appropriate location were selected. The final map output indicates estimated potential sites identified for the establishment of a centralised processing centre. The results obtained provide areas suitable for consideration.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.