Use of Mercury for Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining

This specific issue became evident to me when I surfing twitter. Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) is the extraction of minerals by miners working in small and medium sized operations, using rudimentary techniques.  Simple practices with minimum economic investment are employed be these miners. It is the largest intentional-release source of mercury in the world.

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How can mercury be used for gold-mining? Mercury is used to separate and collect the gold from the rocks. Mercury binds with gold to form an amalgam which facilitates it to separate from rock, sand or other material. The amalgam is then heated to vaporize the mercury leaving the gold behind.

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Mercury is a powerful neurotoxin that is harmful to people, especially to developing fetuses, and young children. Once emitted, it can travel great distances through the atmosphere, causing global contamination of ecosystems, fish, birds, mammals, and the human food chain.Local exposures in mining communities that use mercury can be acute.

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What to do now?

  1. The most important measure a mining community can take to reduce its mercury use is to concentrate the gold-containing portion of the ore before adding mercury. This can be done by crushing and grinding the ore and then using carpeted or magnetic sluice boxes or gravity concentration techniques such as panning or centrifuges. In this way, more gold will be captured, less mercury will be required and residual mercury can be more completely captured.
  2. Protective measures include the use of retorts when burning amalgam and the use of gloves by those handling mercury or amalgam.
  3. Most promising technology to replace the use of mercury is cyanidation, but this method may not be affordable or technically available to all artisanal miners. Also, cyanidation methods must be used with care and carefully introduced due to its significant risks to human health and the environment.

For further info check reference texts http://www.unep.org/hazardoussubstances/Portals/9/Mercury/AwarenessPack/English/UNEP_Mod3_UK_Web.pdf

http://www.unep.org/hazardoussubstances/Portals/9/Mercury/Documents/ASGM/Techdoc/UNEP%20Tech%20Doc%20APRIL%202012_120608b_web.pdf

How to Make our Food Systems Sustainable?

(For those who don’t like reading science stuff scroll down and have a look at the infographics)

Agroecology is this short answer. It can help us establish sustainable food systems.

Just a few month back I was very surprised and unhappy that we were to be taught this subject. But since I attended this subject’s first class I have been in love with it. So, the first question in your mind would be what is wrong with our current food system. The following infographic will make that clear to you and later on I’ll ramble about it.

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The current agriculture is highly dependent on human inputs. This dependence is mainly due to the agricultural practices  like monoculture (planting same crop over a larger area), intensive tillage, use of fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides, factory farming, etc. These practices make an ecosystem of their own that is agroecosystem. Agroecosystem cannot sustain itself. In this system, energy and nutrients are  lost. It is not resilient to disturbances and change. It has very simplified food chains. Hence, agroecology applies ecological principles to agroecosystems. This can be done by increasing biodiversity thus making food chains complex, agroecosystems stable, reducing dependence on human inputs, etc. Some of these methods have been beautifully described in the following  infographic.

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The difference between agroecological and conventional agricultural practices can be observed very clearly in this infographic. 

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Here goes an infographic about how agroecology relates to climate change.

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Sources of infographics have been linked.

Wish Granted-Amazing New Experiences

So, in my last post, I asked you for your suggestions at Need Suggestions Please (about shoes)! about whether or not to buy high boots. If you visit my previous post you’ll understand why I wanted suggestions. Thanks to the suggestion of milae, I was motivated to buy them. I ordered them online (my first online shopping experience) and they look awesome.

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So, Alhamdulillah I fulfilled my dream!

 

 

 

P.S: Mehwish you’re right. I have bought them but still don’t know how I am going to wear them!

Need Suggestions Please (about shoes)!

I wish to buy high boots but the issue is I don’t wear jeans at all. All my clothes have shalwars or trousers. And the length of the shirts are  till knees or below.

So, there is a sale that will last till 12 AM today. My budget is limited I want them as cheap as possible. But these shoes are knee high.

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How can I wear high boots on shalwar and palazzos????

Another option is to wait for offseason sale on ankle high boots.Please tell me what to do..

Running Away!

She entered her room hastily and closed the door. She couldn’t bear to listen to her parents’ conversation. Only because it conveyed her a message. The message that she was growing up. She couldn’t bear the mere thought of leaving her comfort zone. Her home. How could she go away from a brother who does nothing but love her? Who she loved so much. How could she go away from her sister with whom she shared every laugh, joke, and feeling? How could she get away from her mother who loved her above all else? A father who loved her no matter what. But this was essential. And was going to happen one way or another. It was going to happen someday. And she would have to accept it that day. you_can__t_run_forever_by_freespirit1224-d31dcb0.jpg

 

Sorry, but Not Sorry

“I am sorry,” she said as if to put period to our long argument. But the look in her eyes. I had never seen it before. For a girl as gentle and kind as her, she looked vicious. Her eyes were focused right at me. There was an awkward stillness in them. She kept her eyes on me, her head a bit slanted, her arms crossed, as I reached the door. “I mean it,” she said, “I shouldn’t have hurt you.” I turned around feeling a bit of guilt in her voice, but all I saw was a ferocious animal with stone eyes. I reached for the handle. I knew her sorry was nothing but a formality. She would attack me again, whenever she deems it necessary. But I left the room hoping time would make her realize her mistake. As time, itself, is a great teacher…

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Part of the Ordinary

I knew I had to clean all the tiny cob webs that had suddenly appeared on every wall in my house. So, I took my cob web cleaner in my hand and headed to complete my mission. As I was dusting and cleaning the walls and tube-lights, something caught my eye. For a moment I just stood there looking at it with wonder. Why hadn’t I noticed it before? My sister and I always complain about how our house is undecorated and how we require more frames to put on our walls. But in complaining about what we don’t have, we tend to forget what we do have. Everything around us that was once extraordinary eventually becomes part of the ordinary. What I was looking at was in-fact a beautiful frame hanging above my bedroom’s  door. Why was I astonished? Because I had forgotten that it ever existed. That is what happens to every extraordinary thing in our lives. Something new comes up becomes trendy and after a small amount of time becomes part of the ordinary. So, appreciate what you do have. 

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