Mining activities in Jajang iron and manganese ore mines located in Keonjhar district of Odisha, India starting from mineral explorations to production and transport are causing environmental damage in many ways, which includes deforestation, loss of topsoil, accelerated soil erosion, migration of wildlife and avifauna, and addition of air pollutants and dust to the atmosphere. In connection to this, the current study was an attempt to regain the original ecological status of the degraded areas of Jajang iron and manganese ore mines caused due to mining by Rungta Mines Limited. To achieve this indigenous plant species for restoration were selected from mining forests and plantations. Species selection from mining forests was made through systematic phytosociological analysis that involved measurement of Importance Value Index (IVI), regeneration values of tree species and their economic uses. On the other hand, species selection from plantations was made based on their growth, productivity, economic uses and adaptation to terrain and soil types. Shrubs and grasses were selected based on their relative index and abundance, respectively. The top 15 tree and 16 grass species as well as all six shrub species were selected from mining forests and plantations were considered for restoration. The findings of the study may also aids in the faster restoration of degraded habitats with initial human facilitation as the soils of degraded areas were similar to that of the mining forest. To speed up the recovery process after-care and monitoring have also been suggested or advised.
Part of the book: Environmental Management