Consequences of Mercury Used by Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining Processes – A Case of River Nile State Sudan
Ali Muddathir Ali Ahmed 1, 2  
,  
Purwanto Purwanto 1, 3  
,  
Hena Rya Sunoko 1, 4  
 
 
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1
Doctorate Program of Environmental Science, School of Postgraduate Studies, Diponegoro University, Semarang, Indonesia
2
Department of Applied Chemistry and Chemical Technology, Faculty of Engineering and Technology, University of Gezira, Wad Medani Sudan
3
Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Diponegoro University, Semarang, Indonesia
4
Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Diponegoro University, Semarang, Indonesia
Publish date: 2019-02-01
 
J. Ecol. Eng. 2019; 20(2):106–115
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ABSTRACT:
On the discovery of gold reserves in 14 states in Sudan, traditional gold mining suddenly started to flourish and hundreds of thousands of laymen became engaged in gold extraction. The new source of revenue generation added much to the empty treasury and the loss in petroleum revenue due to cessation of the south in 2011 could thus be compensated. Since gold extraction by artisanal and small-scale gold mining does not require much finance or advanced technology, it suited unskilled workers and many young people found their way into the new business. Although gold extraction generates high revenues, the use of mercury in gold extraction poses much threat to the environment and general health of miners and the surrounding areas. The research tries to investigate the effects of traditional gold mining in Alebedia area, Berber Locality in the River Nile State. The investigation includes A/ the effects of extraction methods on the environment and general health. B/ the level of education and its distribution within the miners and how it affected the awareness of the miners about the dangers of mining activities. C/ the period of stay that miners spend in the mining area its contribution on the awareness about the dangers and diseases inflicted on the miners, D/ the effects of traditional gold mining activities on natural environmental impacts and E/ the effects of the meteorological and topographical factors, the distribution and concentration of mercury in the area and their effects on the environment and general health. The research adopted the techniques of using random sampling and quantitative qualitative in addition to the analytical techniques. The research finally concluded that traditional gold mining has positive effects on the economic side and negative effects on the environment and general health.
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR:
Ali Muddathir Ali Ahmed   
Doctorate Program of Environmental Science, School of Postgraduate Studies, Diponegoro University, JL.Imam Bardjo,SH No.5, 50241 Semarang, Indonesia