Mercury-free gold extraction is not new. More than 40 years ago a group of small-scale gold miners in the Benguet-area in The Philippines started to use the mercury-free method. 

Basically, the method is the same as the “traditional” method where the miner adds around 20 grams of mercury to extract one gram of gold.

With the increased price of gold, it is estimated that up to 100 million people today is working as small-scale gold miners around the world.

Because of this, some 60 % of all mercury released to nature, comes from small-scale gold mining. 

Mercury-free gold extraction does not require additional equipment – all the miner needs to do is spend some more time in the “panning-process”. It is estimated that the process will take around 5 % more time, than the “traditional” method. 

But instead of “catching” the gold and mercury that will mix and become what is known as amalgam, the mercury-free methods rely on gravity.

After crushing the ore in a rotating drum, the ore is sluiced down over a carpet, where simple gravity is doing the job. The heaviest materials such as gold and silver will end in the carpet.

Now the miner “washes” the carpet in a close circuit and from there the panning will take place.

Finally, and because gold also can be found inside the tiny gravel, the mercury-free method requires the use of a few grams of the environmental relatively harmless mineral, Borax.

When burned, Borax will lower the melting point of just about everything, and when the miner adds a little Borax in the melting process, he will attract as much as 15-20 more gold than what the mercury-method can.

Watch the entire process:  – Click here –