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Analysis of silver in the water column of the Pra and the Eture estuaries in Ghana

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Silver is a rare but naturally occurring metal, often found deposited as mineral ore in association with other elements like gold, manganese and aluminium. Emission from smelting and gold mining operations as well as indiscriminate disposal of waste from photographic laboratories and other chemical laboratories are some of the anthropogenic sources of silver in the environment. This work analysed the concentration of total recoverable silver in the water column of the Eture and the Pra estuaries in Ghana. The result indicated high concentrations in the two estuaries, higher than the values that should be tolerated in the estuarine environment. The high levels in the Pra estuary could be attributed to the numerous mining activities upstream and this was the same for the Eture estuary which also runs through Cape Coast and the University of Cape Coast. The higher levels of silver reported in this study area suggest that much work has to be done to monitor and improve the quality of these ecosystems in the Ghanaian environment.
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Keywords: Eture estuary; Pra estuary; gold mining; silver

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Chemistry, University of Cape Coast, Ghana 2: Department of Laboratory Technology, University of Cape Coast, Ghana

Publication date: August 1, 2008

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