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Many aspects of transportation analysis for mineral development are amenable to Geographical Information Systems-based processing and the range of potential applications is enormous. However, GIS is used relatively infrequently in the transport management in developing countries, especially where mineral exploitation is concerned. In mineral-resource management, planners need to know the condition and type, as well as the availability, of any road/rail network in the area where the deposit is found. The main objectives of transport analysis in this paper is to ensure, among other things, that the products from the mine and the supplies to the mine are delivered uninterrupted. Also needed is knowledge on whether the existing road/rail network will last for the life of the proposed mine, or whether a new road or rail link needs to be constructed. If the latter is necessary, site characterization data will be needed to estimate the effects of the construction on the environment and culture. Easy labor mobility between the mine and the other parts of the country also has to be studied. In this paper, a case study involving GIS analysis of the transportation network on the decision to exploit an iron-ore deposit in Ghana is presented.
geographical information systems, mineral resources management, transport analysis, road/rail network, labor mobility, mineral exploitation, ore deposit, site characterization
Senior Lecturer, University of Science and Technology, School of Mines, Tarkwa,