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The greatest threat to the environment associated with artisanal gold mining in Amazon is the use of mercury to amalgamate the gold. Both metallic mercury discharged into the rivers by the washing process, and the mercury vaporized during combustion of the amalgam in order to separate the gold, are very dangerous to health. This is a time bomb which will explode sooner or later. At the end of the extracting process, lakes of polluted mud are...
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