J. Phys. IV France
Volume 107, May 2003
Page(s) 1145 - 1151

J. Phys. IV France
107 (2003) 1145
DOI: 10.1051/jp4:20030503

Geochemical assessment of Hg pollution in gold mining sites

S. Rodrigues-Filho and R.C. Villas Bôas

Center for Mineral Technology, CETEM/MCT, Cidade Universitaria, 21941-590 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The increasing societal demand for actions and strategies towards sustainability of small-scale gold mining in developing countries has led experts to face the challenge of managing the harzards associated with mercury pollution from active and abandoned mine sites. Mercury pollution in drainage systems and its health effects are the most frequent subjects on environmental researchs dealing with small-scale gold mining worldwide. Also, filling of river beds with mineral matter originated from runoff of abandoned mining waste piles and tailings generally causes both silting of waterways and elevation of Hg concentrations in the environment. This paper summarizes the main results concerning the assessment of Hg pollution in Amazon drainage systems accomplished by the authors in the last decade in Brazil.

© EDP Sciences 2003