fredag 25. november 2016

Gold and Mercury poisoning .

Gold, gold, gold, sing the dwarves in Terry Pratchett’s books, as they dig the coveted metal out of mines deep underground. 

They still do it, that is, not dwarves, but humans do deep down mining. The deepest gold mine is the AngloGold Ashanti Mponeng mine which is 3,7 kilometer deep.
   However, 15million poor work as small-scale miners and many of these are eking out a living as Artisanial miners. They use water as a medium for separating small grains of gold from tons of stone, gravel and sand. However, water is not effective enough to get hold of all the gold. A cheap and fast method of extracting gold is the use of mercury. This Hell-sent metal attaches itself to the precious metal, making it easy to separate it from sand and gravel. In Burkina Faso more than 6 - 700,000 people live on gold mining settlements. 200,000 are directly involved in gold mining, producing roughly half a gram of gold a day. I repeat… 0,5 gram a day.

1000 tonnes of poison
Every year, artisanal miners release 1000 tonnes of mercury into the environment! This is 30 – 40 per cent of the world’ mercury pollution and 70 per cent of the glittering metal ends up in water systems. The mercury vapors from the gold extraction impact the environment. You probably already got mercury in your body as it seeps into food chains, the fish and the meat you eat. In other words, for every gram of gold you buy, you probably poison yourself, your family and unborn children.

Less Mercury?
The Artisanal Gold Council is working for the elimination of the use of mercury through education and training of artisanal and small scale gold miners. But no mattter how you look at the problem it is not going to be solved as long mercury is produced and possible to buy by the miners.

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