Costa Rica continues to suffer environmental damage at the hands of artisanal and small-scale gold miners who use cyanide and mercury in gold processing characterised as toxic mining. The Tico Times reported on a recent seizure of toxic chemicals which miners had been using to extract gold.
Costa Rica’s Public Ministry Security seized 2,400 kilogrammes of cyanide and 1,405 grams of mercury, and stated that “the chemicals were illegally introduced from Nicaragua and were to be used for gold processing.” These miners “have invaded the land and dedicated themselves to extracting gold with the use of chemicals that, according to environmental organisations, have caused serious damage to the soil and rivers in the area.”
The environmental repercussions from gold mining, illegal or not, are severe, and methods to remedy such problems are needed more than ever. In addition to damaging the environment, these toxic chemicals also incur a significant cost to human health — exposure to mercury, for example, can affect child development and is even fatal at high enough concentrations.
Clean Mining, part of the Clean Earth Technologies group, has a proprietary thiosulphate-based solution that can completely replace cyanide and mercury in the gold recovery process. This advancement in mineral processing technology sets a new “gold standard” for the industry, benefiting both human health and the environment.
*Source: The Tico Times