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Monday, 27 November 2017

Gold Mining: Can We Make a Difference?

History preserves that, earlier the great Sudanese Kingdoms known to be as the gold mining and other metals -through the decades- of local artisanal experience; till the colonization periods where the large scale of activating exploration operations began. Discovering new mining sites was the only benefits earned to the country of Sudan at that time.
Unfortunately the local authority’s takeover of the role of planning and exclusively managing the mining from explorations to marketing the results were behind the expectations, when compared to the territories period. Where the expectations were to have, i.e. new roads, hospitals, schools and hydroelectric dams to be in returns to the investment and the exportation of the natural resources, the understanding is these activities should be mutually beneficial.
Moreover the impact among the Human beings and environment extremely increased and the wakefulness it seems so far yet.
Artisanal mining is having the majority of the gold mining in Sudan. Where the unskilled, poor labors travailing to change their life; regardless to the sureness of self sacrifice.
Using  simple tools to dig or crush the rocks , spending a lot of money to get the mobile hand detectors , walking long distance with no mapping guidance or directions , wilds and  crime cases between the miners like thefts , cheating stick up and more unknown hazards . Definitely the environmental impacts, such as leavening polluted holes and destroys vegetation and animal habitation.
Illegal mining became out of control rather than illegally crossing the borders and making conflicts between the tribe’s miners and residents, and the child labor.
Miners collect the detected extracted soil and send it to crushing sites; usually small crushing stations contribute –in the mining sites- to complete the process of segregations. Pollution and asphyxia are present due to using of Cyanide and mercury release into the environment arise many environmental and health challenges negatively impacts on the minors, especially with the poor hygiene, health and safety  arrangements, and in cases of health hazards no any medical aid available, Hg poses(mercury) polluted water from the refining of the gold by inhalation or used for animal seasoning and crop irrigation will lead to contaminated products and exterminations of the livestock.
By other hand around, two million plus their families depends on them are beneficial from participating in gold mining and processing with more than 20% of total gold mining activity in Sudan. No clause in the financial system to include individuals business; where in this case are the small businesses are majority.  

Mining methods

-Super pit gold mining; where the miners use caterpillar tractors and equipment that clean stones and sift soil allowing them to detect gold faster than locals who use manual tools.
-Placer mining is by extracting the gold by the involving the use of water. -Gold panning is to manually separate gold from other materials by using wide shallow pans submerged in water and shaking (sieve).           -Gold Sluicing. Gold bearing’s materials are placed at the top of the box and the box fixed to stream of water, less dense material flows out of the box.
And many different types depend on the physical features of the gold, for example: hard rock, by-products gold mining (copper mines).

Hazards and Hazardous of Mercury and Cyanide

Elemental (metallic) mercury primarily causes health effects when it is breathed as a vapor where it can be absorbed through the lungs. Signs and symptoms of acute elemental (metallic) mercury poisoning include: tremors and emotional changes. The primary health effect on infants and children is impaired neurological development, can adversely affect a baby's growing brain and nervous system. Impacts on cognitive thinking, memory, attention, language,
 The signs and symptoms of methyl mercury poisoning may include; impairment of the peripheral vision, disturbances in sensations ("pins and needles" feelings, usually in the hands, feet, and around the mouth), lack of coordination of movements, impairment of speech, hearing, walking; and muscle weakness. At higher exposures there may be kidney effects, respiratory failure and death. People concerned about their exposure to elemental mercury should consult their physician.
Cyanide compounds are widely used by the mining industry to assist in the extraction of both precious and non-precious metals from rock. In gold mining, a dilute cyanide solution is sprayed on crushed ore that is placed in piles, commonly called heaps.
Signs and symptoms are typically matching the mercury poisons, where the side effects are immediately take place. Approach consideration: manage a cyanide poison if the diagnosis of cyanide toxicity is strongly suspected, without waiting for laboratory confirmation. Available antidotes are hydroxocobalamin (Cyanokit) and sodium thiosulfate and sodium nitrite (Nithiodote). Both are given intravenously.

Mercury and Cyanide Recycling and Disposal

Recycling of mercury-containing products is one of the best ways to help prevent mercury releases to the environment by keeping these products out of landfills and incinerators.
Mercury is used in a variety of consumer products such as thermometers and fluorescent bulbs. If you accidentally break a mercury-containing product during use, or improperly dispose of such products, they will release mercury vapors that are harmful to human and ecological health.

Best mitigate to the challenges: Eco-friendly gold
All toxic pollution is from the metal mining industry and waste produced from it is nine times more than the garbage from all the cities.
Waste from metal mining includes the supplied ores surrounding the metals that turn acidic when exposed to air. And when it contacts with water, it will turn into sulphuric acid that releases chemicals such as iron and copper into water streams.
The Future depends on the responsible and stupendous planning to the whole aspects of the mining activity in Sudan so as to save the lives of creatures and preserve environment, and the impacts on the natural resources.
Providing clear plan to the investors sustaining the objectives and the strategic vision, and closely monitor the environments, mutually balancing the green houses versus, the mining hectares based on mutually beneficial.
Sudan recently signed many agreements for gold and iron mining , hope the mentioned points to be considered to this agreements and to encourage the researching centers and researchers to conduct more studies to provide statistics and results orientations.  

Can we make a difference?