Bauxite mining in West Africa: A marine and estuarine baseline assessment of the Nunez River, Guinea
Anchor undertook ecological surveys of the marine and estuarine ecosystem of the Nunez River (Guinea). Surveys focused on a proposed port development area, the wider estuary and a transhipment zone, approximately 30 km offshore. In March 2023 Anchor surveyed marine and estuarine biodiversity of the estuary, highlighting species of conservation value, and to identify and map sites for the compensation of mangrove habitats. Marine and estuarine ecological surveys included the collection of physical water quality data, water samples, sediment samples, benthic, macrofauna, fish and vegetation during the low flow (dry) season. Birds, reptiles, and mammals were also surveyed, as was any use of natural resources in the area by local people. Potential impacts of proposed developments and activities associated with Bauxite mining export on biodiversity were identified, with mitigation strategies outlined. A remotely sensed image classification of the mangrove habitat around the river was performed and compensation mangrove habitat was identified.
The Nunez River is relatively depauperate in terms of published studies and available literature on marine biodiversity. The floral and fauna inventory compiled, combined with in depth physico-chemical monitoring results, present a detailed baseline of the marine and estuarine ecosystems associated with the Nunez River. This baseline significantly adds to the limited literature base of studies of this nature for the West Africa region. The remotely sensed image classification methods are also novel and can support further remote assessments of mangrove forest cover in remote regions such as Guinea.