ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT (EIA) FOR THE PROPOSED COAL EXPLORATION AND EXPLOITATION PROJECT AND ASSOCIATED ACTIVITIES BY BANJI COAL MINES LIMITED, OGBADIBO L.G.A., BENUE STATE
Background Information Document (BID)
This Background Information Document (BID) provides information to assist stakeholders to participate in the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) and environmental authorization process for the proposed Coal Mine (18597 EL) located at Ogbadibo L.G.A. of Benue State by Banji Coal Mines Ltd. (Banji Mines).
What is the EIA About?
Basically, the EIA is the process of identifying, predicting, evaluating and mitigating the physical, biological, social and other relevant effects of BANJI COAL MINES LIMITED (Banji Mines) proposed project prior to major decisions being taken and commitments made.
In compliance with Nigeria regulatory bodies statutory provisions and in accordance to the EIA Act 86 of 1992, Banji Mines (the project-proponent) has commissioned Richflood International Ltd, being a Nigerian based environmental and laboratory consulting firm, to conduct an EIA of the proposed Coal Mine Operation of Banji Mines in Benue State.
BANJI COAL MINES LIMITED (Banji Mines) is a subsidiary company of SkipperSeil Group.
Skipper is an integrated energy firm with focus on Electrical Innovation, Design, Manufacturing and Engineering. Skipper has been serving the power sector in India and across the globe since 1986 and has its global footprints through its subsidiaries in India, Nigeria (Banji Coal Mines Limited e.t.c), Ghana and Middle East, where Skipper-make products are manufactured and/or projects of sub-stations, transmission lines and power generation plants are undertaken.
The Vision of Skipper is “To be an International Power and Infrastructure enterprise most admired for its People, Performance and Partnerships”. It is against this backdrop that the Banji Mines project is conceived in Benue state.
In addition to contributing to the diversification of the country’s economy, and support the country’s efforts to enhance people’s access to affordable and reliable electricity supply, the purpose of the proposed coal mine at Ogbadibo is to provide coal as a main source of fuel to the proposed Banji Power Generation Co. Ltd 500MW Mbaku Independent Power Plant (MIPP) in Benue State.
Banji Mines is to be located at Ipole Owupka Community, at Owukpa District with Adjoining Villages such as Uleke, Isilor, Atamaka and Eha Communities cutting across the Mining Concession Area in Ogbadibo Local Government Area of Kogi state.
Fig 1: Map of Nigeria Showing the Project Area (Benue State)
Source: Richflood 2017
Project Influenced Area (Ogbadibo L.G.A Communities)
- Orukpa Nkwo
Fig 2: Map of Benue State Showing the Host L.G.A (Ogbadibo)
Source: Richflood 2017
Fig 3: Satellite Imagery/GPS Points of the Banji Coal mines, Ogbadibo LGA, Benue State. Source: Google Map
The overall coal mining process consists of several sequential stages: (1) exploration of a potentially economic coal seam to assess minable reserves, environmental issues, marketable reserves, and permitting risks; (2) analysis and selection of a mining plan; (3) developing the mine; (4) extracting the coal; (5) processing the coal; and (6) decommissioning the mine and releasing the property for post-mining use. The two essential requirements that must be fulfilled before a prospective coal mine can enter the development stage are confirmation that there are sufficient minable reserves of adequate quality with no unacceptable environmental or permitting risks, and confirmation of an assured or contracted market for a substantial fraction of the coal that will be mined.
Fig 4: Showing a coal mine exploration and exploitation scheduled activities
The proposed mining method will be a combination of surface mining and highwall mining. This alternative allows for complete exploitation of the coal reserve in the area employing the surface and the highwall mining for greater stripping ratios with an expected mine life of 30 plus years.
BRIEF PROJECT DESCRIPTION
In general terms, the Project being proposed will consist of:
- Construction and upgrading of access roads and the development of a product loading facility;
- Construction of water management systems designed for the management and treatment of water affected by mining activities;
- Construction of office, maintenance and coal processing plant facilities with associated stockpile areas, water treatment and sewage facilities;
- Development of an explosives storage area and delivery system;
- Removal and temporary storage of soil in stockpiles for re-use during progressive decommissioning and reclamation;
- Development of mine pit excavations;
- Development of waste rock stockpile areas;
- Production of dry tailings for co-deposition with waste rock in a purpose-built waste management facility;
- Progressive decommissioning and reclamation by backfilling, to the extent possible, of previously mined pit areas as the Project proceeds;
- Rehabilitation of areas where mining and backfilling has been completed during the life of mine to meet agreed final land use objectives;
- Final decommissioning and closure consultation with Regulators;
Additional on-site infrastructure includes, but may not be limited to:
- Lay-down and parking areas;
- Fuel, hazardous substances and waste storage facilities;
- Mine dewatering wells, pumps, sumps and piping;
- Settling ponds and contact water collection ditches;
- Fresh water wells;
- Fresh water piping and storage;
- Fire hydrants and fire protection system;
- Potable water source; and
- Sewage collection and disposal system
Other Social Infrastructures may be constructed as deemed fit by the Proponent, which may include the following:
- Offices/Administrative block building
- Warehouse/storage area
- Workshop maintenance
- Security/Guard house
- Green-belt area
- Vehicle parking lot/space and transport-route map
Objectives of the EIA
The objectives of the EIA for the project site are to: Provide information and evidence required for developing an Environmental Impact Statement for the project site;
- Establish baseline information for the project site.
- Identify associated/potential impacts of the project in the area;
- Recommend preventive, mitigative and control measures for the identified potential/associated adverse impacts of the project; and
- Develop an effective Environmental Management Plan (EMP) for the lifetime of the project.
POTENTIAL AND ASSOCIATED IMPACT ASSESSMENT
Environmental Impact Indicators
The environmental impact indicators for the study are easily observable parameters that will indicate change/deviation, which can be used to monitor the various environmental components.
The primary Biophysical Indicators for the on-going impact assessment are the following:
- Climate and meteorology;
- Air quality;
- Noise levels;
- Geology and geomorphology;
- Soils and soil erosion;
- Drainage patterns and flooding;
- Unique physical features; and
- Vegetation including economic trees and crops.
The primary Socio-Economic Indicators for the on-going impact assessment are the following:
- Land use;
- Employment and income;
- Community population and ethnicity;
- Community relations; and
- Services (e.g water and electricity supply).
Baseline studies for the EIA will include, but not be limited to assessment of the following:
- Fauna and Flora;
- Air quality and Noise;
- Demographics, Population, Ethnicity; Language, Vulnerable Groups, Education
- Socio-Cultural Institutions, Leadership Patterns, Government Administration, and Other Institutions (NGOs/CBOs);
- Terrestrial Soils and Geology;
- Surface and Ground Water;
- Livelihoods and Micro-Economy, Key Livelihoods, and Employment;
- Transport and Access;
- Social Infrastructure and Cultural Sites; and
- Community Health and Safety.
The main environmental issues are as follows (not limited):
- Socio-Economic and Livelihood Impacts:
- Increased government revenue;
- Creation of employment opportunities and skills enhancement (A number of local businesses likely to secure contracts. Potential exists for creating income and building a more stable and diverse local economy);
- Social benefits for the host communities through on-going community development plans.
- Increased price inflation and economic vulnerability; and
- Community anger and resentment over unmet expectations.
- Impacts Related to Project Induced In-Migration.
- Changes to Socio-Cultural Heritage:
- Disturbance to cultural values, traditional leadership and intangible heritage.
- Community Health, Safety and Security:
- Increased incidence of communicable diseases;
- Increased transmission of malaria; and
- Increased incidence of non-communicable diseases.
- Impact on Flora and Fauna
- Destruction of habitat for plant species of special concern (SSC) within the farm development footprints.
- Destruction of habitat for faunal species of special concern (SSC).
- Loss of plant SSC due to vegetation clearing and disturbance
- Disruption of ecological corridors, patterns and processes
- Increased erosion risk and topsoil loss due to vegetation clearing and disturbances
- Loss of fauna species of special concern as a result of poaching, hunting and trapping.
- Loss of plant species of special concern (collection for ethno botanical use firewood, etc.).
The EIA process aims to identify all the potential impacts of the proposed project, assess the significance of the impacts, and to present measures to mitigate these impacts.
Call for Participation
The stakeholder engagement process is designed to conform to the Nigerian EIA Decree and international standards, including the IFC Performance Standards. Key objectives for stakeholder engagement for this project are:
- Share information about the Project;
- Gather local knowledge to improve understanding of the environmental and social context and understand locally-important issues;
- Enable stakeholders to raise concerns / questions about the Project;
- Gather responses on the EIA findings and incorporate stakeholder views into the design and management measures;
- Respond to concerns and questions and report back on the findings of the EIA and proposed management measures;
- Lay foundation for future stakeholder engagement.
Anyone who is interested or affected by the proposed project has a right to participate in the EIA process, and is invited to further participate in the EIA Process. Please make use of the following opportunities to be involved in the stakeholder engagement process:
- Study the information made available in this Background Information Document;
- Contact the Stakeholder Engagement Team to obtain further project information, and/or raise issues and concerns (contact details provided below);
- Attend the Stakeholder meetings to obtain further project information, interact with the Project Team, and/or raise issues and concerns. More information about the meetings will be circulated through letters, community leaders, radio announcements and through the project website.
Richflood International Ltd
Asokoro Ogaji C.