Indonesia: Sustainable Development of Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining in Indonesia
Partners: Global Affairs Canada and Yayasan Tambuhak Sinta
Our Indonesia project aims to improve incomes, health, and the environment of the vulnerable and marginalized men and women dependent on the artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) economy in targeted areas in Indonesia. The project focuses on several key ASGM provinces: Central Kalimantan, South Kalimantan, Java and Sulawesi. There, we will improve mining, environmental and social practices for men and women involved in the ASGM, including introduction and popularization of non-chemical alternatives to mercury in gold processing. The project also supports targeted subnational governments to better collaborate with the formal extractive sector and supports the formalization of ASGM activities through legal trade of responsible artisanal gold and value-added products in domestic and international markets. The project has 3 main pillars: (1) provide training on better practices for men and women miners; (2) provide training to targeted government and civil society groups on ASGM regulation and management; and (3) establish collaborative mechanisms with other relevant initiatives promoting responsible gold and diversification of the ASGM economy. This initiative supports the Government of Indonesia’s implementation of the Minamata Convention on mercury, its National Development Plan and Master Plan for Economic Development (2011 – 2025), and the principles of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Peru: Mejorando la Pequeña Minería Artesanal de oro en el Perú (Enhancing ASGM in Peru)
Partners: Global Affairs Canada and Red Sociale
The AGC is currently implementing a five year project in Peru with the support of Global Affairs Canada and in partnership with Red Social to reduce mercury emissions in Peruvian ASGM. This is a Pilot Project funded by the Government of Canada and supported by the Government of Peru in implementation of Peru’s National Action Plan due to the recent ratification of the Minamata Convention.
Presentation slides outlining the project activities are available HERE.
The Peru project aligns with AGC’s aim of reducing mercury emissions and enhancing ASGM extraction practices around the globe. It tackles the ASGM issue in four regions of Peru through three main pillars: 1) enhancing the practices of miners towards ASGM (technical, environmental, health and safety, and gender sensitive practices) through the implementation of gravimetric processing systems; 2) support different governmental levels on their understanding of the Minamata Convention and OECD due diligence process, as to its well as providing assistance to its different programs regarding ASM, such as the formalization process for artisanal miners and its environmental monitoring among the most important; and 3) create an efficient supply chain for responsible artisanal gold that allows its tracking from the mines to the international markets to allow the miners access to better prices for their gold.
AGC studies indicate that artisanal gold miners recover between 35%-40% of their gold on average using mercury and that because standard gravimetric processes allow around the same percentage of recovery without using mercury, miners are not always eager to try them. Therefore, in order to reduce mercury, but also grab the attention of the miners, this Project is based on the implementation of 8 gravimetric plants with a processing system created by AGC that allows miners recover up to 70% of gold. This will not only attract miners to the new methods but also constitute the basis for the three pillar aims to be achieved.
FWA – Senegal and Guinea: Reducing Mercury Use and Release from Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining in Sub-Saharan Africa
Partners: United States Department of State (USDoS)
This project builds on the successes of previous projects conducted by the AGC in West Africa. The successful installation of pilot mercury free processing systems in Zopal in Burkina Faso and Bantako in Senegal in 2014/15 has led to the development of this current West African project. In Senegal, this project focuses on maintaining the operational successes of the Bantako system by providing further miner training, both to the existing operational team, and to neighbouring miner groups to increase exposure and capacity in mercury free practices. A supply chain component will ensure the legal and transparent delivery of gold produced from the pilot system to international markets. In Guinea the project aims to produce national ASGM inventory estimates, and includes a scoping and feasibility component to assess the potential for future technical interventions.
The Senegal portion of the project will provide technical support to the GIE Foukhaba, the mining group operating the AGC’s pilot processing system and training center in Bantako. This support will include further training on machine maintenance and direct smelting of gold concentrates, work begun during previous AGC projects. Additionally, mercury free processing workshops for miners from surrounding communities will be held on the Bantako installation site. Interested mining groups will be brought to site for demonstrations and training to increase exposure to best practices in mineral processing. A supply chain component of the project will develop the infrastructure required to bring the gold produced from the Bantako system from mine to market, yielding miners a better price for their gold than currently received in the field, and bringing a new stream of socially responsible mercury free artisanal gold to international markets.
The Guinean component of this project aims to collect further information to characterize the country’s ASGM sector through field visits and stakeholder meetings. The sector is poorly understood, with little publicly available data surrounding the style, amount, and distribution of artisanal mining in the country. An ASGM inventory will be completed to define primary mining regions and the practices applied, and to constrain gold production, miner population, and mercury usage in Guinea. Field work for inventory analysis will be coupled with scoping for potential technical intervention sites, and installation logistics will be assessed to better understand the feasibility of conducting such technical interventions. This work will provide vital background knowledge needed to proceed with the development of action plans for future improvements to the country’s ASGM sector.
National Action Plan (NAP) on Mercury for the Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining Sector (ASGM)
As the artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) sector is a major source of mercury release and environmental pollution in the world, the Minamata Convention requires countries with more than insignificant use of mercury in ASGM operations to develop a National Action Plan (NAP). The AGC is supporting countries to prepare their NAP to reduce, and where feasible, eliminate the use of mercury and mercury compounds in the sector.
Within each country the AGC will develop a national analysis of the ASGM sector, including a baseline inventory of mercury use and mining practices. The analysis will provide the basis for identifying national objectives, as well as setting targets and strategies to eliminate worst practices and facilitate the formalization of the sector.
The intent of working on each NAP is also to improve the health of the miners and ASGM communities by developing a public health strategy for the sector. The strategy will be based on the health situation and institutional capacity needs assessments that will be conducted by the AGC.
Awareness will be raised on the risks of mercury use and also on the development of the NAP among relevant stakeholders. To conclude, the AGC will support these governments to endorse their NAPs, define schedules for their implementation and officially submit them to the Minamata Convention Secretariat.
Ongoing NAP projects
Partners: United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF)
Mali & Senegal (2016-2018)
Partners: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) 2015-2017