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Gold mining and mercury – a time bomb in Amazon rain forest

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mercury gold mining Amazon_it2109_pb.jpg
Use of mercury to extract gold in Amazon - the process known as despescagem, the removal of material collected in the sluice box by using mercury ( litlle bottle at right ) to amalgamate with the metal. The gold is separated from sediments and accumulates in the box ( white material inside the pan ). No precautions are taken to prevent the mercury pouring into the river or coming into contact with the skin. Agua Branca gold mining village, Amazon rain forest, Para State, Brazil.