Mercury in mining could end in a year, consultant says

Gold miners at Quartz Hill

– tests of new equipment set for Quartz Hill this month

Gold mining could become mercury-free in as little as a year if the sector is determined to see it happen, a Venezuelan-born Geological Engineer who works as a consultant in the local mining sector has told Stabroek Business.

“The technology is available and it’s affordable for miners. It’s up to the miners to determine how quickly they want to make the transition,” Jhonny Alberto Leon told this newspaper.

Gold miners at Quartz Hill
Gold miners at Quartz Hill

Asked about the mood of the mining sector in the matter of embracing technology that would rid the sector of mercury, Leon said in his opinion many Guyanese miners still embrace what they consider to be “the cheapest and easiest method.”

Leon, who has been working with local miners to identify machinery and conduct mercury-free trials in mining communities told Stabroek Business that Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) Board Chairman Clinton Williams and GGMC Commissioner Rickford Vieira have both reacted enthusiastically to his plans for exhaustive mercury-free trials in the Quartz Hill area in West Omai utilizing the Canadian-manufactured Icon Concentrator along with Shaker Table. Leon, who had been involved in earlier mercury-free tests in collaboration with private miners and the Guyana Gold & Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) said he believed that as a long-term investment the cost of the equipment, estimated at just over US$8,000 was “affordable” to operators in the mining sector.

Icon concentrator and shaker table
Icon concentrator and shaker table

Leon told Stabroek Business that the Quartz Hill trials were scheduled to begin early this month and he was upbeat that the outcomes of the trials were likely to provoke a positive response in the mining sector. He said that apart from the mercury-free outcomes of the trials the Icon Concentrator/Shaker Table combination was likely to realize higher gold yield.

Last October the Government of Guyana ratified the Minamata Convention, the most recent global pact designed to control the emission of mercury. At the time Natural Resources and the Environment Minister Robert Persaud had articulated the official Government of Guyana position of a phased approach to the removal of mercury-based mining methods that would see mercury being phased out over a ten-year period. However, Leon told Stabroek Business that, conceivably, mercury use in the mining sector might even be phased out “in less than a year” depending on the determination of local miners.

Comments  

Manufacturing sector at standstill – Ramsay Ali

The unchanging dilemma of an uncompetitive   local manufacturing sector continues to be manifested in the persistence of high electricity costs coupled with a notoriously unreliable power supply system and high costs of imported raw material inputs, among other things, Former President of the Guyana Manufacturing & Services Association (GMSA) Ramsay Ali who is also Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Products Ltd.

Sterling Products seeking 10,000 acres for coconut cultivation

With the global coconut industry now offering numerous potentially lucrative opportunities to the manufacturing and agro-processing sectors, the local company, Sterling Products Ltd is signalling its intention to utilize the sector to enhance its own expansion and diversification programmes.

Backing away from a garbage crisis

It had always appeared to be the case that the assurance given the citizenry by Town Clerk Royston King in a statement last week that following the withdrawal of services by City Hall’s substantive service providers, Cevons Waste Management and Puran Brothers, the City was putting in place contingency measures to manage, in an environmental friendly manner, the city’s waste disposal, was little more than just another example of the municipality getting ahead of itself.

China Railway gets major T&T road project

(Trinidad Guardian) China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) has been awarded a $221.7 million contract by the National infrastructure Development Company (Nidco) to build the controversial Curepe Interchange, the state company’s chairman Herbert George has confirmed.

Kitco Market Data

Gold Prices for the three-day period ending Thursday August 17, 2017           Kitco is a Canadian company that buys and sells precious metals such as gold, copper and silver.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.

We built stabroeknews.com using new technology. This makes our website faster, more feature rich and easier to use for 95% of our readers.
Unfortunately, your browser does not support some of these technologies. Click the button below and choose a modern browser to receive our intended user experience.

Update my browser now

×