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() Estimating Mercury Releases from Small-Scale Gold Mines in China.

Gunson, Aaron1, 2, Veiga, Marcello1, 2, 1 Sustainability Working Group, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada2 University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

ABSTRACT- Four hundred thousand artisanal and small-scale gold miners all over China systematically use amalgamation and release approximately 240 tonnes of mercury per annum. Based on field research, laboratory test work, interviews, government statistics and academic literature, this paper outlines how China's small-scale mining mercury releases constitute one of the largest sources of mercury pollution in the world. The use of whole-ore amalgamation is demonstrated to be the primary source of these releases and alternative technologies and processes are recommended to diminish these releases.

Key words: Small-Scale, Mercury, Mining, China

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