Using Agrogeology as a sustainable mechanism for waste utilization and environmental management – The Kumalu Case Study
A three-week field reconnaissance survey to Kumalu, Bulolo district, Morobe province, was undertaken on the 15th of November 2020 for the agrogeology project. The project is a collaboration between The University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG),
The Papua New Guinea University of Technology (UOT), National Agriculture Research Institute (NARI) and the Morobe Provincial Government (MPG). The project aims to analyze the waste rock deposits and convert them into useful rock and mineral fertilizers for the benefit of the impacted people as well as means of environmental and waste management control mechanisms.
Field work involved rock and soil sampling and a social survey involving distribution of questionnaires and interviews with people. Rock samples were collected along the Kumalu Structural Mapping Corridor. Soil samples were collected at random but were restricted to coffee and vanilla farms within the vicinity of Zenag and Kumalu.
The chemical analysis of the rock and soil samples indicate significant amounts of the macro nutrients potassium (K) and phosphorus (P) as well as the micronutrients calcium (Ca), iron (Fe) and magnesium (Mg). Relatively high amounts of aluminum (Al) has also been detected. Analysis of major oxides indicate high values of iron oxide (Fe2O3), aluminum oxide (Al2O3), magnesium oxide (MgO) and calcium oxide (CaO) respectively. Further field work recommended are proper grid sampling for rock and soil sampling, plant tissue analysis and detailed laboratory and chemical analysis, to verify the rock or mineral fertilizer potential of the waste rock materials.
Kumalu, Bulolo district, Morobe province, agrogeology, waste rock deposit, rock and mineral fertilizer, environment and waste management