Partnership on Reducing Mercury in Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining (ASGM)
1 United Nations Industrial Development Program
2 Natural Resources Defense Council
The Artisanal and Small Scale Gold Mining Partnership area is an initiative to reduce global mercury pollution through coordinated voluntary actions. This partnership area, co-led by Natural Resources Defense Council and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, gathers the major actors in the sector, including governments, academia and civil society. The ASGM sector remains the largest demand sector for mercury globally (best global estimates put mercury use by the sector in the range of 1400 tonne/year in 2011). Virtually all of the mercury introduced in the process is released to the environment. This sector involves an estimated 10-20 million miners, and the numbers are likely increasing as the rising price of gold attracts additional poverty-driven miners. Serious long-term environmental health hazards exist for populations associated with or living downstream/wind from mining operations, often including indigenous peoples. The objective of the ASGM Partnership area is to minimize and where possible eliminate mercury uses and releases in artisanal and small scale gold mining. The presentation will outline the key challenges associated with the ASGM sector and summarize the activities under the Partnership to address those challenges.
Key words: mercury / artisanal / small-scale / mining / gold
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