Farming & Mining

Mercury a killer on a rampage

Zimbabwe has a free for all affair for artisanal gold mining, but the use of mercury in these operations has had detrimental effects not only on the environment, but on people. When gold miners use mercury to almagate gold they should be aware they can easily contaminate themselves, their families and neighbours.
Gold mining is the most destructive industries in the world, mercury can contaminate drinking water sources and can pollute water. Artisanal and small scale gold mining is a vital source of income, but is also very dangerous because miners use toxic mercury to separate gold from ore.
“ In most villages, cities and towns around Zimbabwe, most gold miners use mercury, some even process gold ore at their homes. Others process gold near water sources and thereby contaminate the water sources in the process. The lack of knowledge or outright resistance to knowledge is one of the dangers most artisanal miners are subjecting themselves due to misuse of mercury and refrain from using protective clothing on the basis of superstition which has it that handling mercury with hands yields more gold output “, said Environment Management Agency in Kwekwe.
Mercury is a shinny liquid metal that attacks the nervous system. Exposure can result in life long disability and is mostly harmful to children. Mercury compounds represent a major threat to human health in the future. In Kwekwe, Zimbabwe where gold mining operations are more rampant in areas like Globe and Phoenix, Gaika Mine, Venice and Cricket mine in Muzvezve River. Sebakwe river, which is the main source of water to Kwekwe city and Redcliff town is now heavily contaminated with mercury, cyanide and other harmful substances used in the processing of gold ore.
Will Zimbabwe attain the goal of attaining an effective and sustainable way of eliminating the use of mercury by 2022?

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