Natural Resources Ministry promotes mercury-free mining
DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, August 21, 2018
The Ministry of Natural Resources held a public lecture last evening on Affordable Mercury-Free Solutions for Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) Miners in Guyana.
The talk was facilitated by Canadian instructor Bruce Marshall who is a post-doctoral fellow in Mining Engineering from the University of British Columbia.
In his lecture, held at Education Lecture Theatre at the University of Guyana, Marshall explained that mercury releases from traditional mining are estimated to be about 1,400 tonnes per year which makes it the largest global demand sector for mercury.
He further stated that an estimated 10 to 15 million miners, including four to five million women and children, are involved in the sector. From this, he noted that all of the mercury used is released into the environment and is very detrimental to miners since it can get into their bodies through the skin, inhalation and the eating of fish.
Marshall said the ASGM sector is a complex global development issue and that mercury exposure to miners and their communities can be reduced in simple and cost-effective ways by an environmental approach, health approach and co-existence solutions among others.
The lecture formed part of the observance of the celebration of mining week which is an annual occurrence in Guyana under the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission.
Images: Jules Gibson