September 18, 2020
Clickongh

NGO undertakes mercury-free mining test

A non-profit organisation, Development Gold Ghana (DGG), has tested a new gold extraction process technology at a mining project site at Adanse North District in the Ashanti Region.

“The process, called the goldkacha, does not only optimise productivity but also eliminates the possibility of this poisonous toxic chemical being washed into our rivers and streams and thereby contaminating our food supply,” a statement issued by the company said.

It added that the organisation was committed to finding practical solutions that eradicate mercury from the gold extraction process.

DGG said the results were encouraging and that the technology had been earmarked as a suitable mercury-free alternative to traditional gold panning.

The statement indicated that mercury was a potent, yet toxic, element that allowed people around the world to extract gold concentrate during the amalgamation process, and that the use of the chemical by artisanal and small-scale gold miners accounted for 37 per cent of global mercury emissions (IUCN, 2020), exposing workers to toxic fumes with often detrimental health impacts.

The statement said the founder of DGG, Mr Max Afriyie-Barwuah, who was present at the exhibition, expressed his joy at a successful demonstration. He indicated that “Development Gold Ghana is delighted to participate in the preliminary stages of implementing a gold processing system which has the potential to scale up and align local mining practices with ethical standards.”

Potency
Around the world, the statement said governments had become signatories of the Minimata Convention — an international agreement banning the use of mercury.

Incorporation
It said DGG had been incorporated as an NGO which existed to create a viable and inclusive mining economy in Ghana by linking international markets with responsible, small-scale gold producers.

“The initiative shall result in more resilient and sustainable mining communities, transparent and traceable supply chains, and supplychain assurance for the off-takers of responsible gold.

“Most of all, it will demonstrate the ability of our nation to show that gold recovery is a positive driver of sustainable development. By mobilising resources for investment into responsible, legal, small-scale mining, Development Gold Ghana shall build the capacity of small-scale responsible mining efforts in Ghana,” it said.

DGG, it said, aimed at formalisation and certification of artisanal and small-scale gold mining operations (ASGM); demonstrating provenance, traceability and transparency throughout the supply chain.

Moreover, it said it would remediate and improve environmental management of retired mine sites, restore farms and reforestation of degraded land thereby improving food availability and off-setting carbon emissions through sequestration.
The statement noted that the organisation was also aiming at alleviating poverty through job creation and promoting alternative livelihoods in the agricultural sector, as well as optimising production of responsible gold through the provision of capital equipment, among other things.

DGG strategy, it said, was underpinned by several core elements, including a core vision to support the host government to create a sustainable mining landscape while attaining key Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Source: General News

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