Lao PDR Summary Report
Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASM) is a poverty-driven activity that provides an important source of livelihood for perhaps 10 – 15 million people, but is also one of the major global sources of mercury contamination. It is estimated that artisanal gold miners produce up to 800 tonnes of gold annually, but releasing as much as 800-1000 tonnes of mercury to the environment in the process. These activities are frequently accompanied by extensive environmental degradation and deplorable socio-economic conditions.
07 May 2010