Successful introduction of mercury-free gold extraction in Mozambique 2018

Artisanal Mining: Environmental and Cultural Rights in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique
Funded by the EU under Europe Aid/150577/DD/ACT/MZ. Main stakeholder the Spanish NGO Medicus Mundi

Report on February 2018 mission to Cabo Delgado, Northern Mozambique

Peter W. U. Appel, Birgitte Stoffersen & Leoncio D. Na-Oy

Teaching and training of small-scale gold miners in using mercury-free gold extraction instead of using mercury, has been carried out in Cabo Delgado, Northern Mozambique. Two mining sites hosted the training, those being Wacueia and Nanlia. Miners from a number of other places also attended the training. Comparison between the two methods was carried out. In Wacueia the miners extracted 78% more gold when using the mercury-free method than when they used mercury during the extraction. In Nanlia the miners extracted the same amount of gold with both methods. The comparison showed that miners in Wacueia lose about 2 kg gold per year together with large amounts of mercury. Most of the invited miners obtained good skills in the mercury-free method. Most of the miners that attended claimed that they would like to use mercury-free gold extraction method in the future. Of paramount importance to keep momentum achieved by the teaching and training is to make the necessary equipment available very fast such as borax, small air pumps, clay bowls and concentration equipment. Borax and small air pumps have to be imported, whereas clay bowls can be produced locally. Supporting and guiding mining associations to unite under an umbrella federation will facilitate reduction/stop use of mercury by small-scale gold miners.

Successful introduction of mercury-free gold extraction in Mozambique 2018 (798KB)

Appendix 1 (872KB)

Appendix 2 (298KB)

Introduction of Mercury-Free Gold Extraction to Small-Scale Miners in the Cabo Delgado Province in Mozambique (Journal of Health & Pollution Vol. 8, No. 19) (2.1MB)

Old method using mercury in the foreground versus new mercury-free gold extraction in the background in Wacueia