About 10 million people are active small-scale gold miners providing food for abut 100 million people in South- and Central America, Africa and SE Asia. The majority use mercury for extracting gold thereby contributing 47% off the global mercury pollution.

About forty years ago a small-scale gold miner in Philippines invented a mercury-free gold extraction method. That method has been successfully used since by about 20000 small-scale gold miners. Appelglobal often together with the Danish NGO Dialogos has successfully introduced mercury-free gold extraction on three continents.

The method is as simple as the method using mercury but with four significant advantages.

  • It recovers more gold

  • It does not require use of expensive mercury

  • It doesn’t cause mercury intoxication of the user and his family

  • It is not necessary for the miners to invest in expensive new equipment.

In order to convince the small-scale god miners that mercury-free gold extraction is favourable for them the following demonstration is used.

300 to 500 kilogram of gold ore is milled without use of mercury. Then the pile is split into two equal sizes. Gold is extracted from one pile without using mercury by Appelglobal team. The other pile is milled again but together with mercury so called whole ore amalgamation. The local miners extract gold. The processing time for both processes is measured and the recovered gold is weighed.

In all such tests carried out so far mercury-free gold extraction takes up to 10% longer time but recovers between 25 and 70% more gold.

For documentation consult: References

How to

An educational video has been made by Heinemann Media and is available in four languages English, Spanish, French and Indonesian. Early 2020 the English and Spanish versions had 1.5 million viewers.