Advisory Assistance on Avoidance Mercury Pollution from Artisanal Gold Mining Operation in Bolivar State, Venezuela
Mercury has been misused by artisanal miners all over the State of Bolivar. A gold production in Venezuela of around 18 tonnes annually likely results mercury emission in the same magnitude. Symptoms of mercurialism in miners and gold dealers were already detected by various researchers. he high content of organic acids in sediments and waters of the Caroni River and other darkwater streams favours oxidation of metallic mercury dumped by mining activities or precipitated from the atmosphere. Soluble Hg-organic complexes can be transformed into methylmercury and quickly taken up by aquatic biota. Bioaccumulation occurs predominantly by food intake rather than via fish respiration. In some mining areas the process is occurring at slow rates but more information is needed.
07 May 2010