Sunday, September 2, 2012

Responsible mining: Best Practice of the Banao Tribe

In the province of Kalinga lies the mining community called Gaang. Most of the people living in this town are from the Banao tribe, one of the gentlest tribe in the Mountain Province and a proud tribe of blacksmiths. They been mining for more than two decades now since the gold rush in the 80s. At first they use Mercury (Hg) for easy processing of gold but they notice the bad effects of it on their health and their rivers. Even a mercury seller for 15 years now gave up her business because of these effects

Since last year the Ban Toxics held a workshop for the miners about the non-mercury practice where all they need to do is to go back in the old processes by using sluice box, panning devices and just simple borax. At first they had a hard time adapting it because it takes more time to process the gold than just using mercury, but as time passes by they begin to see the benefits from it. They notice the high quality of gold that they got from this mercury-free method and they don't have to worry about getting sick anymore.

Its been a year now since the mining town of Gaang is practicing this mercury free method its still a challenge to implement it in other places but its a good start for everyone and a good sign that there is hope for a cleaner and safer future for the miners.

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