Metallurgy in Latin America dates back more than 4,000 years. Ancient artifacts of gold have been found at numerous sitesthroughout the Andes. The colonial era brought expanded mining of gold, silver and other metals. Techniques to increase the yield of precious metals were introduced, including use of environmentally hazardous processes such as mercury amalgamation.

Latin America contains some of the world’s largest deposits of gold and other precious metals, such as Gramalote and La Colosa in Colombia, Pueblo Viejo in the Dominican Republic, Madre de Dios in Peru, and  the Volta Grande in Brazil. As these countries experience growth, they must decide what role mining should play in their futures. As the recovery of precious metals continue and decide the prosperity of a nation, there looms a hidden danger in the health risks the general populace is exposed to. Many illegal mining operations exist in the mad rush for dreams of a lucrative lifestyle.gotmercury_artisanalmining

Does the end justify the means? For those that engage in this business, yes would be the most viable answer. How about those that are indirectly affected by mercury and methyl mercury runoffs from both commercial and artisanal mines? Of course the answer is a hard NO. The seafood we place on our family dining tables will eventually decide the answers we need.

#Mining #Gold #Silver #Metallurgy #LatinAmerica #Gramalote
#LaColosa #Colombia #PuebloViejo #DominicanRepublic
#MadreDeDios #Peru #VoltaGrande #Brazil #ArtisanalMining
#MercuryRunOffs #MethylMercury #MercuryPoisoning
#WeDoNotEatMercury #WeDontEatSharkMeat #MinamataDisease
#NoToSharkFinSoup #Biomagnification #Conservation #Education

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