A mercury-free Gold mining processing equipment with a high recovery rate of about 300 percent has successfully been introduced to artisanal and small scale gold miners in the Western Region by Commodity Monitor, a logistics and research firm.
The practical demonstration of the processor to miners in the Prestea-Huni-Valley District proved its efficiency to recover more gold for artisanal and small scale miners in Ghana without using a lot of water and any chemical like mercury which can pollute water bodies.
The Director of Operations and Strategy at Commodity Monitor, Martha Amoako, after the demonstration, told Citi News the gold processor enhanced gold recovery volumes, shortened the time for recovery processing and prevented the use of the dangerous mercury.
This intervention she said aligns with the government’s agenda to promote responsible artisanal and small scale mining.
“We want to transform the way small scale mining is done in the country. Our test showed that gold recovered by a miner had a threefold increase in a day, thus from 12 pounds of gold to about 32 pounds of gold using the mercury-free mineral processing equipment. The gold processing plants will help catalyse jobs creation for the youth, protect the lives of miners and communities as well as save the environment from mercury contamination that curbs the destruction of forest and water resources.”
Sammy Bonzo, a small scale miner, in his assessment of the demonstration of the mercury-free gold processor said it will boost their gold production and prevent them from harmful effects of mercury.
“The washing of ore which usually takes a whole day or two to be done is now reduced to just under two hours using the gold concentrator introduced by Commodity Monitor. The mercury-free equipment gave the highest gold recovery rate we have ever recorded in our mining operations”.
The mining sector has contributed significantly to Ghana’s foreign exchange earnings and revenue generation. In 2019, proceeds from the export of minerals increased from US$ 5.76 billion in 2018 to US$ 6.68 billion, according to statistics from the Bank of Ghana.
Small scale mining, in particular, contributed 35 percent of Ghana’s gold production in 2019.
Despite these contributions, small scale mining activities have mostly been carried out illegally, destroying water bodies, forest and land resources.
In 2017, Ghana ratified the Minamata Convention on Mercury to reduce and eliminate mercury use in the minerals sector.
It is against this backdrop that Commodity Monitor is driving the deployment of green mining technology, where miners can have high gold recovery without using any chemical like mercury.
The mercury-free mineral processing equipment being deployed are available for small, medium and large scale miners.