Gaang pocket miners aim for mercury-free mining practice
BALBALAN, Kalinga, July 24 (PIA) -- Pocket mining in this upland town in Kalinga is aiming towards mercury-free after Ban Toxics, a global advocate of non-toxics, started its advocacy in the province against use of mercury in mining.
The local government of this town has allowed pocket mining in Barangay Gaang but these mines are under close watch and regulation.
Ban Toxics has convinced pocket miners to shift from the use of mercury in their operation to other non-hazard agents.
Mercury, a highly toxic element, is commonly used by miners who practice crude gold panning method to collect raw gold dust.
Unmindful of its effects, they just let the mercury flow into waterways bringing great hazards to health and the environment. The traces of mercury found in the waters of the Chico River has been attributed to this practice.
Balbalan Mayor Kenneth Dale Mangaoang reported that Gaang miners have heeded the advice of Ban Toxics and are slowly adopting a new system that is mercury-free.
Among the guidelines imposed by the municipal government in the Gaang pocket mining operations include no mine worker below 14 years old, no pregnant women, and that every worker must be physically fit as shown by a medical certificate. (LL-PIA CAR,Kalinga)
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