In many developing nations, artisanal and small-scale gold mines (ASGM) use mercury to recover gold. Miners use it as a crude and ineffective, albeit cheap, method of separating gold ore from soil and sediments. However, there are no adequate safeguards to protect the miners or the environment from toxic exposure to mercury. Large amounts of mercury are regularly burned off in the atmosphere and spill into nearby waterways and soil.
Mercury is one of the top 10 chemicals deemed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to be a “major public health concern.” Exposure to it in any of its forms, even in small amounts, can incur a wide range of harmful effects on humans and the environment. It can cause damage to the nervous, digestive, and immune systems, and is a particular threat to child development—in utero or early in life.
ASGM are responsible for up to 25% of global gold production and 37% of global mercury pollution. This disproportionate volume of mercury pollution directly affects 10 – 19 million miners on the ground, including 4 – 5 million women and children.* Of the numerous policies worldwide focused on combating mercury pollution, one of the most prominent forums for addressing this issue is the Minamata Convention on Mercury.
A global treaty established by the United Nations Environment Programme, the Convention was established “to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury.” It is Clean Earth Technologies’ hope that its solution can empower similar change with ASGM, and especially the mining communities working and living in those projects.
#MakeMercuryHistory with Clean Earth Technologies’ solution for the gold mining industry. Through Clean Mining Limited, Clean Earth Technologies has a non-toxic, mercury-free, and cyanide-free thiosulphate-based solution, and this leaching reagent is able to offer an environmentally-friendly process for mining companies to unlock opportunities in safe, sustainable, and economically viable mining projects. Now, the gold mining industry can mine #CleanGold in a manner that does not cost the Earth.