BRI'S ACTIVITIES IN ASGM
Assessing environmental impacts
Mercury Use and Artisanal Small-scale Gold Mining
Miners use mercury to extract gold particles that have been ground and liberated from rock. Mercury and gold bind together forming a mixture called an amalgam. During the amalgamation process, mercury can be released directly into adjacent terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems because of poor care and handling of the liquid mercury. Mercury vapor is also released into the atmosphere when the mercury-gold amalgam is burned. The release of mercury creates a high risk of human exposure and also impacts adjacent terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.