Indonesian Infrastructure Failure Pushes Local Miners into Utilizing Mercury

Caelen BurandNews

By Caelen Burand In Indonesia miners flock to the island of Sumbawa in the hopes of accessing a stable income. They search for gold as a means to escape poverty and trade their health in to obtain it. A simple longing to earn a living traps these miners in the disastrous use of mercury in gold refinement. The land these … Read More

Toxic river: Mining, Mercury and Murder Continue to Plague Colombia’s Atrato

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by Frederick Gillingham, Melisa Valenzuela on 10 October 2019 https://news.mongabay.com Decades of internal conflict have fueled an unprecedented surge in illegal mining in Colombia’s Choco region, decimating the Atrato River basin and provoking an environmental and humanitarian crisis. In a landmark ruling in 2016, Colombia’s Constitutional Court granted the Atrato environmental personhood rights just as the country signed historic peace … Read More

The Media’s Demonization of the Artisanal Gold Mining Sector Isn’t Helping

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By Kevin Telmer – September 05, 2019 The Miami Herald in 2018 and now Buzzfeed and the NYT in 2019 have published, once again, the typical easy story on alluvial gold mining in the Amazon: The very simplistic and oft repeated “mining is bad” story. They cast a pall over any and all that are involved in artisanal mining. What … Read More

A Message from MFM’s Chairman Bill Boyajian

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When I met with Toby Pomeroy at the AGTA Show in Tucson in February 2019, I didn’t expect to be moved to action. But what he said resonated deeply with me as I became aware of an immense global problem, and was encouraged by an even greater opportunity. As the former President of the Gemological Institute of America for 20 … Read More

Journey of Gold: Mining and Mercury

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 Gold is one of the world’s most valuable metals, used in everything from electronics to dentistry. But do you know where yours comes from? 20% of gold comes from artisanal and small-scale miners, who often work illegally using toxic chemicals such as mercury and cyanide, due in large part to the profound absence of opportunity and support. The Minamata … Read More

Is There Tainted Gold Inside Your Phone?

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From the New York Times 30 August 2019 Producer/Director Brent McDonald If you’re reading this on your phone, you may be holding illegally mined gold from Colombia, where the precious metal has replaced cocaine as the main source of income for organized crime. The growing demand for gold as a conductive metal used in phones and other electronic products has … Read More

The Mercury Free Mining Challenge Gains a Global Audience in Paris

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The Mercury Free Mining Challenge (MFMC), a team of leaders in jewelry and materials sciences working toward a safe alternative to toxic mercury use in small-scale gold mining, has made its cause the topic of conversation at recent conferences in Tucson, Atlanta, Chicago, New York – and now in Paris. With the aim to transform jewelry, mining and global heath … Read More

The Treasure of El Bagre

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Last week I returned from my visit to the Colombian community of El Bagre, in the Department of Antioquia, where they depend almost entirely on gold mining for their subsistence income. The hamlet of San Antonio is 2.5 hours from El Bagre, beyond the village of Zaragoza on a rocky, rutted road that becomes thick, orange muck when it rains, … Read More

Discovering the true El Bagre

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On Monday I’ll be flying to Medellin, Colombia to meet up with my interpreter & photographer, Juan Sebastian Villa and on Tuesday, he and I will fly into the community of El Bagre in the district of Antioquia, the region’s highest gold-producing municipality, accounting for 80%- 90% of its revenue. In the 5 years between 2008 ~ 2013, the population … Read More