Monday, November 29, 2010

Now, mine green gold without mercury!

Wildcat mining in countries like Brazil and Peru have been a big menace for the governments there because of the risk involved in it.

Wildcat mining is resorted by people who want to explore gold from the riverbeds like Amazon and other forest areas. They are not professional miners but want to mine gold from known sources. In normal case, companies, which mine gold, use cyanide to extract gold from the slush. But, small-scale miners especially the wildcat miners use mercury in the process.

The biggest problem with both cyanide and mercury is that they pollute the environment and cause a lot of damage.

However, there is help now. After years of research to avoid mercury and cyanide use in gold, a Peruvian engineer has come up with something which can substantially reduce use of mercury, which has been polluting the Amazon river for years, in gold mining.

In fact, what his machine produces is ethical gold, because it’s not using mercury. Again, small scale mining is a big employer, and the machine’s cost of operation is very cheap.

The patented technique allows for the environmentally friendly recovery of gold and other precious metals on a large scale.

Numerous refractory gold deposits have not reached commercial production due to low gold recoveries and the potential environmental damage that can be caused by the disposal of arsenic in tailings.

Wildcatters produce about 20% of gold in Peru — people who mine, usually without formal permits, using picks and dredges.

The high concentration of gold produced by the device allows for direct melting of the precious metal.

Peru’s government has long struggled with curbing some 300,000 wildcat miners and with reducing pollution in the Amazon basin.

The machine would produce up to 95% of the gold obtained by using mercury by wildcat miners, who often put their own health at risk by exposing themselves to the toxic metal.

Villachica runs Smallvill, a Peruvian firm that focuses on green technology and that built a plant to clean waste water of the mining company Volcan.

By: Ahmed Al Shaye

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