MRA embarks to reduce mercury usage
Alluvial miners at work on Bougainville
Cedric Patjole | Loop PNG | March 8, 2020
The Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) recently launched a project to reduce the use of mercury in small scale mining operations.
The Project aims to identify the extent to which mercury is used in the industry and how it is used and by whom, in a bid to mitigate health risks.
On March 6th, the ‘Reducing Mercury Use in Papua New Guinea’s Alluvial and Small-Scale Gold Mining Sector’ Project was launched in Port Moresby, following a workshop with key stakeholders and project partners.
The Alluvial Mining industry is one of the largest small to medium enterprise sectors in PNG that engages thousands of rural small scale miners.
It is also a sector that is great health risks due to the usage of mercury.
“This project is designed to get a better understanding of our alluvial sector general, and more specifically to identify the extent to which mercury is used how it is used and by whom,” said MRA Executive Manager of Regulatory Operations, Roger Gunson.
“In addition, it will track the supply trial and identify the regions where it is used. The data collected relating to the sector will be entered into a database administered as part of MRA’s land-folio tenement system.
“This will be able to better inform on policy development, resourcing, training and sector needs.”
Gunson, said the Alluvial Mining is one of the biggest revenue earners for the country with K550 million recorded in 2019.
He said this is similar to revenue generated by smaller mines such as Simberi Mine. However, the use of mercury in extracting gold poses major health risks to the miners.
“Unfortunately, in many parts of PNG gold is extracted through the use of mercury. This is a danger to the health of miners, their families and communities as well as we have heard from the workshop today.
“Hence, we have a paradox, we want the gold and we want to be able to seek it, but we also have a health risk that sits alongside it,” said Gunson.
The project is funded by the US Department of State and implemented by Artisanal Gold Council (AGC) in conjunction with the MRA.
This effort deserves a vote of thanks from all of us.
A very useful recent post and comments on mining claims left me with the impression that the public can be excluded from mining claims by the holder. It's quite possible that I misunderstood what was written. Perhaps others were left with some doubt as well.
The BLM pamphlet "Mining Claims and Sites on Federal and State Lands" reads:
The Public has the conditional right to cross mining claims or sites for recreational or other purposes and to access federal lands beyond the claim boundaries.
Technically, my post belongs in the previous mentioned post, but it would be buried and missed by many. I hope Steve will permit it to exist as an independent post because of its importance to us all.
I’ve been curious about using the Bureau of Land Management’s MLRS site https://mlrs.blm.gov/s/ to figure out where to go detect on open lands in heavily claimed areas, and I’ve noticed that it does show some “active claims” on the maps highlighted with red crosshatching, but it doesn’t show “active claims” in other areas at all. It’s strange because the map key includes a code for active load and active placer claims, in addition to closed ones. I’ve heard that it’s because BLM hasn’t caught up on the records yet, but does anyone know why otherwise? I hope it becomes available because that would be a wonderful feature instead of having to get records from their offices.
Does anyone on here know how to navigate the new BLM MLRS claims database, and how to navigate and utilize the features on the map program? It is supposed to be alot easier than LR2000 which is gone now. Perhaps a video on here would be good for everyone. It is still confusing.
I've been considering the idea of buying a patented claim, but I'm curious what property rights you have with such a claim: is is essentially indistinguishable from private property at that point? Am I allowed to put a fence around the claim and post 'no trespassing' signs? What about obtaining permits to build structures - is it done through the city/county just like with normal property?