First ever mercury-free mining equipment introduced in Ghana

Commodity Monitor, a commodity trading, logistics, and research company based in Accra, has rolled out the first-ever successful mercury-free mining equipment that efficiently recover more gold for artisanal and small-scale miners in Ghana without using any chemical like mercury. In a demonstration organized in June this year in the Prestea-Huni Valley District of the Western Region, Commodity Monitor’s gold processor enhanced gold recovery, shortened the time for gold recovery process, and prevented the use of mercury. This intervention aligns with the government’s agenda to promote responsible artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) that curbs the destruction of forest and water resources. “Though artisanal and small-scale mining immense holds potential for Ghana’s economy, its current practices pose extreme risks to water and forest resources. The mineral processing plant we have deployed will improve gold recovery and protect the environment from mercury contamination,” said Martha Amoako, Director of Operations and Strategy, at Commodity Monitor. “We want to transform the way small scale mining is done in the country. Our test showed that gold recovered by a miner had a threefold increase in a day: from 12 pounds of gold to about 32 pounds of gold using the mercury-free mineral processing equipment. The processing plants will help catalyse jobs creation for the youth, save the environment, and protect the lives of miners and communities from mercury contamination.” The mining sector has contributed significantly to Ghana’s foreign exchange earnings and revenue generation. In 2019, proceeds from the export of minerals increased from $ 5.76 billion in 2018 to $ 6.68 billion, according to statistics from the Bank of Ghana. Small-scale mining, in particular, contributed 35 per cent of Ghana’s gold production in 2019. Despite these contributions, small-scale mining activities have mostly been carried out illegally, destroying water, forest and land resources. In his assessment, a small-scale miner, Sammy Bonzo, said the gold-processing plant has made gold recovery process easy and faster. “The washing of ore which usually takes a whole day or two to be done is now reduced to just under two hours using the gold concentrator introduced by Commodity Monitor,” Mr Bonzo remarked. The mercury-free processing equipment gave the highest gold recovery rate they have ever recorded in their mining operations. The miners present expressed their satisfaction as the chemical-free mineral processing equipment will boost their production and keep them away from the harmful effects of mercury and other chemicals. The exploitation of minerals has brought extensive levels of water pollution and land degradation, particularly with unregulated, high use and exposure of mercury. In 2017, Ghana ratified the Minamata Convention on Mercury to reduce and eliminate mercury use in the minerals sector. It is against this backdrop that Commodity Monitor is driving the deployment of green mining technology, where miners can have high gold recovery without using any chemical like mercury.

READ ALSO:  Over 500 Diasporan investors sensitized on Ghana’s tax laws