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Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM)

Mercury residues from mining and industrial processing, as well as mercury in waste, have resulted in a large number of contaminated sites all over the world. Polluted soil can contain as much as 400 grammes of mercury per hectare, as measured at a Venezuelan gold mining site (Garcia-Sanchez et al., 2006). Most mercury contamination sites are concentrated in the industrial areas of North America, Europe and Asia; and in sub-Saharan Africa and South America. In contrast to Europe and North America, the number and extent of mercury- contaminated sites in other parts of the world is increasing because of the rising use of mercury (Kocman et al., 2011). Safe storage of mercury-containing waste and rehabilitation of various hotspots is needed.

Year: 2013

From collection: Mercury - Time to act

Cartographer: GRID-Arendal

Tags: Global UNEP

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