Mercury human health threats and biodiversity costs from this deadly global crisis — A Solution

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA, October 17, 2021 / — Artisanal and small-scale gold (ASG) miners’ ore processing using mercury a deadly neurotoxin used as a lixiviant to extract gold from ore is the world’s largest anthropogenic [man-caused] source of deadly mercury pollution overtaking coal fired plants’ mercury emissions in 2017.

“We propose to use a solution extracted from plants, bitter cassava, as a gold leaching lixiviant for the first time in the history of the mining industry” Dr. Marcello Veiga, P. Eng.

There are ~ 18–20 million impoverished ASG miners in ~ 80 Countries including ~4.5 million women and ~600,000 children under the age of 15 all largely having undiagnosed mercury poisoning from using, handling, breathing, and eating contaminated fish.

ASG miners use mercury to amalgamate with the gold (become one) in crushed or milled ore then heat the amalgam to 1,200 F using blowtorches vaporizing the mercury leaving behind a gold button while exposing themselves and our environment to deadly toxic mercury pollution.

The gold button which contains ~ 5% mercury is sent to an artisanal smelter for refining by heating the button to 1,200 F creating more deadly localized mercury pollution.

Mercury vapor is documented by Oxford University earth scientists in 2021 to stay airborne up to one year and precipitates back to Earth in the form of rain and snow contaminating our land, Oceans, and our water ways.

ASG miners produce 20% of the world’s gold supply used in our jewellery, iPad’s, iPhone, computers, and other electronics devices.

The morbid irony lies in the fact the same mercury that is vaporized to recover the gold during processing is polluting the air we all breathe, contaminating our drinking water, polluting the Oceans we swim, poisoning the fish we consume causing health issues, and global biodiversity destruction.

A high price to pay with devastating consequences when there are mercury free alternatives!

Eighty percent of the world’s artisanal gold supply is produced from processing centers which are largely responsible for their collective discharge of 2,000 tonnes of mercury annually, not the wrongly accused informal ASG miners which produce only 20% of the gold.

Mercury is a precursor to Methylmercury, an even deadlier neurotoxin at 100 times more potent than elemental mercury, and with unknown biomagnification effects.

Methylmercury is produced by human bacteria upon contact or inhalation, and anaerobic microbes in a moist environment such as the Amazon.

Both mercury and Methylmercury penetrate;

the blood brain barrier,

Blood Brain Barrier

the placenta,

Placenta Blood Barrier

and the central nervous system.

Human Central Nervous System

Leveraging the years of R & D undertaken at the University of British Columbia (UBC) Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering spearheaded by Dr. Marcello Veiga, P. Eng., Professor Emeritus in conjunction with Newlox Gold Ventures, we produced design schematics in a flow chart prototyping the world’s 1st 80 tonne/day sustainable manipueira ore and tailings leaching pilot plant.

We are advancing discussions with several APROPLASMIN* Members in Ecuador's Portovelo-Zaruma mining district to whom we have provided preliminary design schematics to convert an existing center to a manipueira ore and tailings leaching center.

Here, 87 (110 in 2010) whole ore mercury amalgamation processing centers situated along one-square mile on the Calera and Amarillo riverbanks collectively discharge 1.9 million tonnes of acidic toxic tailings surface sludge annually poured directly into the rivers from processing 50,000 local and neighboring miners’ ore and toxic tailings.

This toxic pollutant is laden with 222 kg of mercury providing mobility for mercury, 2,033 tonnes of cyanide, mercury-cyanide complexes, arsenic, lead, and other heavy metals.

The pollutant is fluvially dispersed zigzagging down the Andes throughout the Amazon rivers killing all local biota, contaminating the riverbanks and soil, poisoning local terrestrial species, and contaminating drinking water to empty into the Pacific Ocean 350 Km west, poisoning the tuna fish we consume where mercury bioaccumulates the most.

December 17, 2020, UK Super Mega Rock Star @robbiewilliams reported he ‘almost died’ from mercury poisoning over his seafood habit. He had the highest level of mercury in his body ever recorded in UK.

Zaruma is one of Ecuador’s 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the world’s pinnacle and most impactful source of deadly toxic mercury polluting the Amazon rivers and destroying Peru’s Puyango-Tumbes River basin resulting in a recent internationally supported law-suite for human health threats, biodiversity destruction, contaminating their drinking water and soil, estimated at $USD 35 billion.

These centers are also collectively responsible for the annual release 303 kg of mercury vaporized to our environment from burning the mercury gold amalgam to leave the gold.

Mercury Poisonings

We propose to use a solution extracted from bitter cassava plants, a cyanogenic plant-based extract as a gold leaching lixiviant for the first time in the history of the mining industry”

Conversion of one of the 87 Portovelo-Zaruma Chilean processing centers to manipueira processing contributes to the UNEP Global Mercury Partnership overall goal by eliminating that center’s

* monthly use of 2.2 kg mercury,
* monthly use of 2 tonnes of toxic cyanide salts,
* pro-rata discharge of 1.9 million tonnes of toxic tailings wastes,
* pro-rata release of 303 kg of mercury to our environment from burning the gold amalgams.

We’re seeking social awareness and impact investment capital to fund the implementation of our scalable climate action initiative in Zaruma to eliminate the use of mercury in ore processing with an aim to mitigate further human and child in utero health threats, local and global biodiversity destruction, and deadly toxic mercury pollution.

To accomplish our initiative to engineer a 80 tonnes/day manipueira ore and tailings processing center will require $USD 1.5 million impact investment capital.

Support our climate action initiative to prototype the world’s 1st 80 tonnes/day mercury free processing center.

See what we’re doing about it and profit proudly owning sustainably reclaimed tailings gold, a globally wasted commodity transformed into *Limited Edition* artisanally crafted one ounce (95% 22k) of gold coins or ingots.

The ~40,000 residents of the Portovelo-Zaruma mining district including ~ 10,000 local artisanal miners all largely having undiagnosed mercury poisoning and our Planet thanks you.

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Bruce A. Cosgrove, M.Sc., (Solution Chemistry) President/CEO

Alchemy Mining Group, Inc. (AMGI)🌿 An “innovation provider with a scalable climate action initiative designed to eliminate mercury used by artisanal miners’ ore processing to recover gold”

*Asociación de Propietarios de Plantas de Beneficio Mineral (Association of Owners of Plants of Ore Reduction, Smelting and Refining of Mineral Substances of El Oro Province in Portovelo-Zaruma)

Pollution Moving Around the Globe

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Originally published at on October 18, 2021.



Manipueira Gold Recovery Technology, Inc.

“We propose to use a solution extracted from plants, bitter cassava, as a gold leaching lixiviant for the first time in the history of the mining industry