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About AppelGlobal

AppelGlobal, that was established early 2015, focus on reducing global mercury pollution. Two-fold action is used. Teaching small-scale gold miners to extract gold using mercury-free methods and explore ways to clean the hundreds of thousand mercury polluted mine tailings from small-scale gold mining littering planet Earth.

AppelGlobal’s expertise is based on work carried out during more than ten years in the framework of the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) where Peter Appel was employed as senior research scientist until 31.1.2015 and Affiliated as emeritus until 30.4.2016. That work comprised a broad spectrum of problems from environmental hazards caused by small-scale mining to health hazards to conflict resolution between small-scale miners, commercial mining companies and governments. Much work has aimed at fulfilling governmental obligations to follow the Minamata Convention. That work has been carried out in Southeast Asia, Africa, South- and Central America. Main focus has been to reduce/stop use of mercury in gold extraction by teaching small-scale gold miners to use techniques which are mercury-free and have the extra bonus of yielding more gold to the miners without a heavier work load. GEUS has contributed significantly in most projects with the work of Jørgen Kystol and John Tychsen together with different types of laboratory work. The work has also been sponsored by a number of donors such as World Bank, European Union, Danish Ministry of Environment, Danish Embassies in several countries, Blacksmith (Pure Earth) and Sumitomo Foundation, Japan. A large part of the work is carried out in close cooperation with small-scale gold miners from Emerald Cooperation of small-scale gold miners, Philippines.

Another important issue has been to explore and develop techniques to clean the numerous mercury polluted tailings dams created by small-scale gold miners littering the developing countries. The tailings contain high amounts of mercury in form of tiny spheres of mercury (mercury flour) which cannot not be captured by the miners and thus end in tailings where they over time have become the main contributor of the global mercury pollution. The mercury flour contains large amounts of gold. When a successful extraction method is developed, the recovered gold will cover the clean-up cost of the tailings. This work has so far been sponsored by Danish Ministry of Environment through Elplatek Denmark, Danish Technical University, Oro Industries California, Sumitomo Foundation, Japan and US Department of State through Blacksmith Institute (Pure Earth) and has been carried out together with partners in Philippines, Nicaragua and Peru.

Small-scale mine tailings in a table spoon. Shiny dots are mercury flour

Small-scale mine tailings in a table spoon. Shiny dots are mercury flour