Gold Mining

On the global view, it is not coal but gold that is the biggest contributor of mercury.  After doing the research and finding out that the largest contributor of mercury is from coal production, the question is how much focus should be put into that area.  Now, in the United States, the largest contributor of mercury comes from coal.  However, when you take a step back and look at the emissions on a global scale, we see that it is the small artisan/gold mining that takes center stage.  Now, you might be wondering why there is such a change here, and there is a pretty straightforward reason, while the US regulates how gold is mined, other areas of the world do not and that cause for concern.

While mining for gold, the process that is of most concern is the gold-mercury amalgam process.  An amalgam is the reaction that mercury has with other metals, and most notably gold reacts to mercury very nicely.  The video below shows the process of the gold mining in Nicaragua, though south of the border, in terms of air and ocean currents is not that far from where we live:

There is some good news to all of this, and that is the world leaders have noticed how bad mercury is for our health and are in the works to regulate industries such as this.  The hardest part though, is just how effective it will be as these small mining operations are what keep these people employed and as they would see it, feed their children.  Hopefully, with any luck we will see a change in the coming years on a global scale that helps to reduce the amount of emissions of mercury in gold mining.