A huge success ….

After several training sessions in the mercury-free gold extraction in the African country of Mauretania, Peter Appel can conclude, that it has been a huge success:

“Even if it is a hot, dusty, and hard to reach-country, the Philippine trainers, that I always work close together with, have done a tremendously good job in changing the working methods among the local small scale gold miners.”

It was the German development organization, GIZ that initiated and funded the project, that has been running for the past two years, and with Appel Global as the head of implementation.

The job was simple, but also challenging for the team. In Mauretania anyone can extract the ore containing gold. Not much, but enough to make a living for thousands of families in the desert state, located in the North-western part of Africa – bordering Western Sahara in the North and Mali to the South.

However – and in contrary to almost all other countries, where millions of small-scale gold miners process their gold with the use of mercury – the authorities of Mauretania decided on an early stage of the “gold rush”, that came to Mauretania in 2012, that the actual processing could only be done in two locations in the enormous country of more than one million square kilometres.

Not only because water and electricity is a scarce resource in a country that does not have any permanent rivers, but also because Mauretania wanted to have better control over the indiscriminate use of mercury:

“Where processing of the ore normally is done where the gold is found – or very close to it, and close to water resources, the small-scale gold miners in Mauretania must travel for distances, to get the job done. This was our chance, and we succeeded. Mauretania can become the very first country in the world, where mercury will not be part of gold extraction, and I’m proud to have been part of it,” Peter Appel says.