Portovelo-Zaruma Ecuador Mining District ongoing human and child in utero health threats and biodiversity destruction since the 15th Century
Ecuador presenta PORTOVELO: El Cantón de Oro (Most Beautiful places In The World) (4:51 Sec.)
Zaruma, one of Ecuador's 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites (3:43 Sec.)
Mercury-dependent ASGM is the primary source of mercury production in Ecuador accounting for 85% of total national production.
Ecuador ranks fourth in Latin America in both estimated gold production, and total number of ASG miners.
The 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".
Zaruma biodiversity destruction (15 Centuries)
Portovelo-Zaruma Mining District
Zaruma ASG miners gold mining (2:02 Sec.)
Zaruma ASG miners mercury amalgamation Chancha barrel whole-ore processing (1:26 Sec.)
Zaruma, ASG miners Chilean Mill Processing (1:23 Sec.)
Zaruma, ASG miners sluicing using copper stacked plates "Peter Plates" hand covered in mercury (1:45 Sec.)
The majority of mercury emitted by gold processors is deposited within 1 km of the emission source contaminating the urban areas and eventually flushed into adjacent river systems poisoning the water.
The time is right to #MakeMercuryHistory in ASG miners gold ore processing to mitigate any further human and child in utero health threats, biodiversity destruction, and global mercury atmospheric pollution starting in Zaruma.
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