Non professional wildcat miners in Brazil and Peru use mercury in the process to extract gold from mud while traditional companies use cyanide. However, both cyanide and mercury pollute the environment and posses health concerns to humans since the waste and pollutants will eventually end up in the food chain cycle. In recent years, there is a new form of mining. A new form that is green and more sustainable.
A Peruvian engineer, Villachica invented a machine that produces gold and not using mercury. It is a very eco friendly approach and cost effective for small scale mining. Since many new policy and standards are set for lowering mercury emissions, this type of new green eco friendly mining method is welcoming. The cylindrical machine blends mineralized dirt with pressurized air, water, and biodegradable chemicals in a circular motion that produces bubbles that rise to the surfaces and attached to fragments of gold. While large, traditional professionalized gold mines use mainly cyanide, mercury is used by millions of wildcat miners around the world. These wildcat miners usually work without formal permits and basic standard safety equipment, in which often put themselves at risk by exposing to high level of toxic metals. The green mining eco machine could produce up to 95% of the gold attained by using mercury by the wildcat miners. Villachica’s invention and his focuses on green technology is a significant step forward for opening doors to more sustainable practices in mining.
By Xi Zhong