Media Advisory: Launch of Project to Stop Use of Mercury by Small Scale Gold Miners

WHAT: Reduction of Mercury use by Artisinal Gold Miners

WHO: Dan Kazungu, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Mining, Charles Sunkuli, Principle Secretary, MENR; UNDP Country Director Amanda Serumaga

WHEN: 26th May 2017,8:30 AM

WHERE: Panafric Hotel

Background

Artisanal and Small Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) is the largest global source of mercury releases into the environment from human activities, with about 35% of total releases from a number of ASGM sites in over 70 countries. The ASGM sector produces approximately 20% of the world’s annual gold, employs around 15 million people (of which 3 million women and children), while another 100 million people are indirectly dependent on ASGM for their livelihoods.

Mercury is often used in ASGM to help separate gold from sediments or ore using very basic processing methods. However exposure to mercury � even small amounts � may cause serious health problems, and is particularly dangerous to the development of the child in utero and early in life.

UNDP is supporting the Government of Kenya in the development and implementation of the GEF GOLD project for Kenya with a budget of 4.2 million US$. The project aims to do this through the provision of technical assistance, technology transfer and facilitating access to financing for the procurement of mercury-free processing equipment.

Source: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).