IRC-MEDMIND International Workshop Program: “Planning for the Sustainable Future of Artisanal and Sm

Mataram, 16 May 2013 - The greatest concerns over ASGM relate to the impacts of this form of mining on the natural environment. Mercury is a toxic compound and once released into the environment can contaminate soil, water and plants. In Lombok for instant, amalgamation is no longer being widely used as a processing technology. In contrast, in Sumbawa mercury is widely used for recovery the gold. In addition, there appears to be an appreciable concentration of mercury naturally present in the gold ore. A portion of this mercury can be dissolved by cyanide in tong, and will be discharged into the environment when waste is disposed of as tailings. Environmental risk is mostly apparent at the end of the mining cycle, when cyanidation tailings is discharged into the environment with no strategy to contain or manage the contaminant burden of the waste. The health and safety record of mining should be regulated and improved. But the single greatest environmental risk apparent for the ASGM sector is the uncontrolled discharge of tailings into the environment. Tailings management must be implemented to ensure the sustainability of ASGM and to ensure that mining practices do not impact on the future sustainability of environment. However, there is debate that the ASGM increased economic aspect of community, hence prosperity. Thus economic versus environment is becoming ongoing discussion. To cope with these issues, environmental friendly technology has been offered to processes the ore, more understanding of rocks and minerals related with gold is raising among the miners. (cited: background of the international workshop, IRC-MEDMIND)

This international workshop program organized by IRC-MEDMIND was conducted and intended to provide an update on socio-economic, culture and environment of ASGM. Moreover, through this workshop, recommendations and inputs during discussion/sharing can be a collaborative strategic action among researchers, government, industries, NGOs, communities, and professionals for future planning of ASGM in West Nusa Tenggara Province. Workshop was participated by miners, scientists, government institutions and also NGOs.

BALIFOKUS was invited in the workshop to present about the socio-economic impacts of ASGM in related with cultural changes of the communities around mining sites. Enhancing and prioritizing the local people to mine by providing good practices in mining are necessary. Community-based mining can be a solution to uphold the human rights of local people and to avoid the major damage of environmental impacts caused by ASGM especially the illegal one. Regulation and permit from related government need to be enforced so then the illegal practices can be reduced. Ban/elimination of mercury-used for processing gold shall be immediately conducted due to its contamination in health and environment. Remediation shall be introduced and appropriately applied to the post mining degraded-land caused by mercury-contained in tailings.

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