The Colombian government announced an agreement today with more than 14 mining plants to eliminate the use of mercury in their mining techniques. The technique, considered archaic by environmental activists, is known to introduce contamination in the environment if not properly managed. The agreement still leaves some 400 other gold mines in Antioquia unaffected, though the government expects to press the issue with additional mines later this year.
With the signing of this accord, the government of Antioquia, along with the National Learning Services Center (SENA) and Provincial Mining Center, will partner to train 400 gold workers in better practices and more innovative processes.
According to a government spokesman, the elimination of mercury use may actually result in a 14% increase in gold production in plants.
The government hopes to eliminate mercury entirely in Antioquia by the end of 2018.