Enhancing the Artisanal Gold Mining Sector in Peru (2016-2021)
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. This project was named: MEJORO (Mejorando la Pequeña Minería Artesanal de oro en el Perú). 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. Presentation slides outlining the project activities are available here.
National Action Plan on Mercury for the Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining Sector (2016-2018)
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. Partners: United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF)