In a biodiversity haven, mining drives highest ever recorded levels of mercury

Updated: Mar 8

| Mongabay Series: Amazon Conservation, Artisanal Mining |

| by John C. Cannon on 28 February 2022 |


They realized that the pathogens they found in the blood and fecal samples they collected might be causing disease.
Or, she said, “It could just be the result of mercury toxicity because it’s so pervasive in that region.”

The view from a drone shows the deforestation and pools left behind by mining in Madre de Dios. Image courtesy of Conservation X Labs.


A recent study has found that forests in the southwestern Peruvian Amazon collect mercury from the atmosphere that’s used in artisanal small-scale gold mining in the Madre de Dios region.

  • The study’s authors found “the highest ever recorded” levels of mercury from the “throughfall” that ends up on the forest floor when the leaves fall or rain washes the mercury from their surfaces.

  • Mercury is highly toxic, causing neurological and reproductive problems in humans and other animals.

  • Organizations are looking at different ways to reduce or even eliminate the use of mercury, which miners use to bind the flecks of gold found in the region’s riverine silt.

 
It’s everywhere: in the rain, snow, our food, our waters, even in the human placenta! Mercury is poisoning life on Earth.

ARE YOU AWARE Artisanal miners' gold ore processing produces 20% of the world's supply of gold used in our jewellery, iPad’s, iPhone, computers, and other electronics devices and is the world's largest anthropogenic source of deadly mercury pollution overtaking coal fired plants mercury emissions in 2017?


Artisanal miners' ore processing uses mercury, a deadly neurotoxin and precursor to an even deadlier neurotoxin Methylmercury @ 100 times more potent than elemental mercury to extract liberated gold from crushed or milled ore by forming an amalgam which is vaporized leaving the gold while releasing 2,000 tonnes of mercury to our atmosphere annually .


Mercury pollution is documented in 2021 by Oxford University earth scientists to stay airborne up to one year then precipitates back to Earth in the form of rain and snow.




The morbid irony lies in the fact the same vaporized mercury is polluting the air we all breathe, contaminating our drinking water, polluting the Oceans we swim, poisoning the fish we consume especially tuna where mercury bioaccumulates the most causing health issues, and global biodiversity destruction.


But finally there's hope!

👉 Alchemy Mining Group, Inc.

“An innovation provider with an initiative to eliminate the use of mercury in Artisanal gold ore processing”


Bruce A. Cosgrove, M.Sc., (Solution Chemistry) President/C.E.O


Visit our Corporate site to see what we’re doing about artisanal miners’ ore processing and how to profit proudly owning sustainably reclaimed tailings gold, a globally wasted commodity to be artisanally crafted into one-ounce (95% 22k) coins or ingots.


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