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Gold mining causes serious mercury pollution


Gold mining causes serious mercury pollution


According to the statistics of the United Nations Environment Programme, the outdated mercury alchemical method  is still used in small gold mines in about 70 countries around the world. It is estimated that 35% of the mercury released into the air in the world comes from small gold mines. The health of 15 million miners, including 5 million women and children, is directly threatened. Everyone of us living on the earth will be affected. Indirect harm.


The principle of mercury alchemy is: miners who mine gold mines mix the ore dug underground or in riverbeds with mercury to form amalgams to extract gold. Then the amalgam is heated. When the amalgam is heated, the mercury element in it evaporates into a kind of toxic smoke, and the rest is gold. The most regrettable thing is that in Africa, the process of heating amalgam to extract gold is usually performed by women, on the grounds that women are more careful and more suitable for this work. However, mercury is extremely harmful to pregnant women. Mercury may have toxic and side effects on human nerves, digestive and immune systems, as well as lungs, kidneys, skin and eyes. It poses a threat to the development of fetuses and infants, and causes impaired IQ of children , Language development delay and other neurodevelopmental defects. Therefore, many countries have banned the use of mercury for alchemy.


Currently, the amount of mercury used in artisanal and small-scale gold mining is estimated at 1,400 tons per year, more than any other use of mercury. The artisanal and small-scale gold mining industry discharges an average of about 1,000 tons of inorganic mercury each year, of which about one-third is discharged into the air, and the rest is accumulated in gold mining waste (tailings) or into the soil or waterways. After some inorganic mercury enters the aquatic ecosystem, it is converted into organic methylmercury by microorganisms and accumulated in fish.


For many years, Prominer (Shanghai)  has responded to the country's call for building green mines and has undertaken a number of green mines that integrate intelligence, digitization, automation and ecology, and become a model project for domestic green mines. It can not only minimize mine pollution, but also ensure controllable costs. In recent years, while basing itself on the domestic market, we has also become famous overseas with its advanced technology. Currently, it has carried out operations in more than 30 countries including Canada, Germany, Australia, Portugal, Fiji, Bolivia, Turkey, Brazil, and Indonesia. Dozens of mines have been tested, designed, and constructed. If you have "green mine design" needs, please feel free to contact us.

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