- December 29, 2020
- Posted in LOCAL
Zimbabwe has banned the use of mercury in mining and placed controls on its release from industrial operations, joining several countries that have phased out the toxic liquid.
The ban will affect hundreds of thousands of small-scale gold miners who use the toxic metal to extract gold. Small-scale miners in ZImbabwe currently produce more than half of the country’s bullion output.
Zimbabwe had ratified the Minamata Convention banning the use of mercury in mining and put in place regulatory measures to stop its release from industrial equipment like boilers, incinerators and power stations.
Mercury, which is easily accessible to miners in Zimbabwe, is highly toxic and poses severe public health risks when it contaminates food and groundwater.