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Potential Contamination of Mercury from Artisanal Gold Mining
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Potential Contamination of Mercury from Artisanal Gold Mining

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This presentation had been presented in the 9th International Conference of Mercury as Global Pollutan (ICMGP) at Guiyang China, 7-12 June, 2009 (http://www.mercury.2009.org)

This presentation had been presented in the 9th International Conference of Mercury as Global Pollutan (ICMGP) at Guiyang China, 7-12 June, 2009 (http://www.mercury.2009.org)

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Potential Contamination of Mercury from Artisanal Gold Mining Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Potential Contamination of Mercury from Artisanal Gold Mining in the Talawaan Watershed Area, North Sulawesi, Indonesia Markus T. Lasut Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Science, Sam Ratulangi University, Manado, North Sulawesi, Indonesia Yoshiaki Yasuda Natural Sciences Section, National Institute for Minamata Disease, Minamata City, Kumamoto, Japan
  • 2. Objective of the Study
    • Specific:
    • Analyzing present concentrations of total Hg (THg) and methyl Hg (MeHg)
    • Analyzing spatial distribution
    • Analyzing the potential contamination
    General: To assess potential contamination of Hg emitted from an artisanal gold mining area
  • 3. STUDY AREA (C): Talawaan Watershed Area (D): Gold Mining Activities, Human Activities, Natural Resources
  • 4. STUDY AREA Talawaan Watershed Area C Talawaan River Kima River Bailang River Mining Area
  • 5. Hg Discharge – Environmental Concerns
    • The mercury is liberated to water and public facilities through rivers and canals
    • The amount of mercury released is still immeasurable
    Simple gravity technique Amalgam released from the process Tailings
  • 6.
    • For 1 unit of trommel/day (estimation):
    • Hg consumption= 1 - 2 kg
    • Hg reused= 0.8 - 1.8 kg
    • Hg loss in process= 200 gr
    • Hg releases to atmosphere (through burning amalgam)= 112 gr
    • Hg release to drainage= 88 gr
    • [If 500 unit for 1 year (200 days)]= 8.8 ton
    Hg Discharge – Environmental Concerns
  • 7. Hypothesis – Hg contamination
  • 8. RESULT 1: Distribution of THg (ppb) in the Sediments (Control: 5.8 ppb) Talawaan River Kima River Bailang River 2357 13
  • 9. RESULT 2 : Distribution of MeHg (ppb) in the Sediments (Control: 0.22 ppb) Talawaan River Kima River Bailang River 2.64 0.36
  • 10. RESULT 3 : MeHg (ppb) in Fish (meat) Control: Psenopsis : 5.9 ppb (3) ; Epineplelus merra : 41 ppb (2) Blue: Omnivorous Red: Carnivorous 363 30
  • 11. RESULT 4 : MeHg (ppm) in Scalp Hairs
  • 12. Existing Situation Bioaccumulation process Hg o Hg +2 MeHg Discharging from the gold mining Found in sediment samples THg MeHg Found in fish samples Found in hairs samples MeHg
  • 13.
    • CONCLUSIONS
    • Hg from artisanal gold mining was emitted to the environment
    • Hg was methylated in the sediment of Riverine system of Talawaan Watershed
    • Hg was accumulated in sediment and fish in various levels
    • Although, the levels of mercury concentration in every environmental sample in the present study were lower than the standard values, the mercury is potentially accumulated in the residents through food web at the remote area from the mining place
    • More detailed studies are necessary in order to evaluate further impact to the residents, though
  • 14. Acknowledgement We appreciate and give special thank to:
    • All personals in Organizing Committee of 9 th ICMGP 2009
    • Dr. Kazuko Kamiya, Director-General of NIMD
    • Dr. Mineshi Sakamoto, The chair of this Special Session