Mercury and gold mining

Mercury and gold mining - Arsenic • Arsenic from rocks...

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Mercury Most comes from smoke stacks from coal However, our burning of coal goes to Europe, but China’s coal burning goes to west coast Recommended children and pregnant women not to eat fish because of too much mercury Concerns Human Health Impacts o Short-term o Long-term Environmental Impacts o Monitoring program to help determine fate and transport of mercury into the environment Road Roadside and Associated Soils Streams, Reservoir Remedial Investigation Initially 137 people, divided into 30 groups of 4 walked 3Km searching for visible mercury 16 spill sites identified Subsequent systematic road and roadside sampling All major and minor drainages sampled for dissolved and total mercury o Weekly, after rainfall event Town water supplies Determination of upgradient natural background mercury concentrations
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Unformatted text preview: Arsenic • Arsenic from rocks are rising to ground level and getting into water • We haven’t done anything to solve it because it’s too expensive Results of Water Quality Sampling • Metallic mercury “relatively” insoluble in rain and stream water • Dissolved and total mercury concentrations in streams and ditches similar to natural background concentrations • Avoided mercury transport and the subsequent methylation of mercury in the down-gradient reservoir Present Conditions • Long-term human and ecological risk assessment continues • Cleanup costs are presently in the tens of millions of dollars • Litigation continues- present court case involving Peruvian citizens...
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Mercury and gold mining - Arsenic • Arsenic from rocks...

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