Alchemy Mining Group, Inc.
a Nevada For-Profit Benefit Corporation
Innovation Provider to
in mercury-dependent Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASGM), our Planet's largest anthropogenic [man-caused] source of deadly mercury pollution for jewellery and electronics gold beginning in the Amazon Rainforest with the Portovelo-Zaruma mining district, Ecuador.
Zaruma, Ecuador Gold Mining (2:00)
The world’s greatest biodiversity is found in the Amazon Rainforest. Tropical ecosystems cover less than 10 percent of earth’s surface but contains about 90 percent of the world’s known species and, according to the WWF, its rivers accounts for 15% of the world’s total river discharge into the oceans.
Additionally, Adriana Gonçalves et al 2015 research study reports there were 240 gold (Au) mine concessions, and 87 whole ore mercury (Hg) amalgamation Chilean processing centers with 78 licenses lined up along one square mile on the Calera and Amarillo riverbanks in Portovelo-Zaruma mining district each processing ~ 1,860 tonnes of ore/month to produce a “reported” ~ 5.7 Kg of Au per month per center using ~ 2.4 Kg of Hg/month/center, and ~ 2.05 tonnes of cyanide (CN)/month/center.
Collectively, these 87 centers discharged 1.9 million tonnes/annum (1.7 million in 2013) of toxic heavy metals chemicals tailings surface sludge including; 222 kg of deadly neurotoxin Hg providing mobility for Hg a precursor to an even more deadly neurotoxin Methylmercury ("MeHg") with unknown biomagnification effects.
Portovelo-Zaruma Mining District, Ecuador
Additionally, these 87 Hg-amalgamation cyanidation Chilean processing facilities discharged 2,033 tonnes of toxic CN, highly corrosive Nitric Acid (HNO3) and Sulfuric acid (H2SO4), and other toxic ore-related elements including arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn) polluting the Calera and Amarillo rivers through to the Peru Puyango-Tumbes River basin to the Pacific Ocean polluting our biosphere killing all terrestrial aquatic biota causing destruction, and facilitating the environmental microbial production of deadly neurotoxin MeHg.
Mercury is converted to MeHg principally by fluvial dispersion of contaminated mineral processing wastes zig zagging throughout the Amazon, and the recycling of Hg sublimated during the burning of the Hg-amalgam which is transported by wind currents, and deposited around the world making Hg pollution our global issue.
Hg-dependent Artisanal and small-scale (ASG) mining is our Planet's largest anthropogenic source of deadly Hg pollution, and is the primary source of Au production in Ecuador, accounting for 85% of total national production. Ecuador ranks fourth in Latin America in both estimated Au production, and total number of ASG miners.
According to Environmental Justice Atlas, ASGM in the district of Portovelo-Zaruma, the oldest and largest of its kind in Ecuador has 85 Hg-amalgamation Chilean processing facilities lined up along one square mile on the Calera and Amarillo river banks processing approximately 10,000 local ASG miners, and 40,000 neighbouring ASG miners ore and tailings vaporizing Hg to the environment, and dumping the deadly toxic Hg-CN waste tailings in the rivers.
According to Ecuadorian Deputy Mining Minister Henry Troy July 31, 2018 “Illegal mining in Ecuador is a plague causing incalculable harm”.
According to Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime estimates that Ecuador produced 12 tons of gold in 2013, of which only 3 tons were from legal gold mines. Jaime Jarrín, the Director General of Arcom, the Ecuadorian Agencia de Regulación y Control Minero, said in April 2013 that he believed true production was between 15 and 20 tons.
"Effect of ASGM in Southern Ecuador is causing considerable environmental impacts, the most important of which are related to the discharge of metals, metalloids and cyanide into adjacent rivers. The majority of Hg emitted by gold smelters being deposited within 1 km of the emission source contaminating the urban areas with a mix of lead, mercury, manganese, and various cyanides eventually flushed into adjacent river systems poisoning the water and killing all aquatic life in the area"
Currently, Ecuador is subject to an internationally supported lawsuit from Peru for biodiversity destruction, and human health threats caused by the Portovelo-Zaruma ASG miner’s toxic tailings discharge and Hg vaporization affecting Peru’s soil quality, agriculture, aquatic life, drinking water, and the health of people.
The amount of environmental and health damages is estimated to be up to $USD 35 billion.
Zaruma, ASG miners Chancha Barrel Processing (1:45)
Zaruma, Chilean mill Chancha Barrel Processing (1.23)