Eliminating use of mercury in mining: Minerals Commission procures machines

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The Minerals Commission is set to introduce a new mercury-free machine that prevents the dangers toxic chemicals pose to mining communities.

The Minerals Commission has procured five new mercury-free machines to help remove all traces of mercury and enhance the portability of water bodies in the country.

The move is part of efforts to eliminate the use of mercury and other toxic chemicals in the mining sector by small scale miners.

The issue of using mercury and cyanide came up recently during the national mining dialogue held in Accra and Kumasi with the government promising to seek solutions to the menace.

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Martin Ayisi, CEO of the Minerals Commission said his outfit will be engaging small scale miners as more of the machines arrive in the country.

He said, “…This is the beginning, as my minister said at the national dialogue; it is not a nine-day wonder, it is not another talk shop. You people were at the dialogue, we promised the whole nation that we shall find a solution to the use of mercury.

Ayisi said, “This is the beginning, of course, the miners will stop using mercury overnight but the only way to stop this is that within the next year or two we’ll bring in more of these and we deploy them, particularly at the community mining sites.

“Our responsibility is to bring in these things and make them available to all of them. For now, these are five that have come, I understand it takes about two months for some to come, so we are going to import more,” he added.

Ayisi added, “we are going sit down with the small scale miners association and have some kind of arrangement as to where we will deplore them.”

Stephen Yeboah, CEO of Commodities Monitor Limited, the company leading the mercury-free mining equipment told Asaase Business that the new technology further improves the mineral recovery rate of small scale miners and will improve the turbidity rate of water bodies in the country.

Yeboah said “This system is to provide solutions to the entire mining value chain. So right from crushing to gold recovery, it provides everything for the miner. What this means is that the miner is shifted and that even today as they are using mercury they recover 30% to 35% of their gold. This technology is improving their recovery rate and they will recover more than 90%.”

He added, “this means that we are putting Ghana on a path of sustainability.”

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