Most of the world’s estimated 600,000 tonnes of mercury de- posits are found in a handful of countries, including China, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Peru, Russia, Slovenia, Spain and Ukraine (USGS, 2012). Primary mining (where mercury is the target ore, not extracted as a byproduct) is now limited to even fewer countries, with only one (Kyrgyzstan) still exporting. Given present trends, it appears likely that most uses of mercury will continue to decline except in artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) and in the production of vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) which together accounts for around 45 per cent of all global demand.
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From collection: Mercury - Time to act