Project seeks to certify small-scale gold miners


Angel Huamaní Quispe, a small-scale, or artisanal gold miner, chisels a living from an ore vein in the southern Peruvian Andes. When he heard he might be able to sell his gold directly to customers abroad, getting far better prices than he receives from middlemen, it sounded too good to be true. Huamaní is one of an estimated 13 million artisanal miners in the developing world. These miners dig in the hills or sluice riverbed sediment in search of gold nuggets or flakes, often relying on environmentally destructive extraction and processing methods. They draw intense criticism in particular for their poor handling of mercury, which often is used to process ore and—because it is mishandled—causes extensive environmental and health problems. At the... [Log in to read more]

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