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The Minamata Convention is an international agreement that aims to protect human health and the environment from the hazardous effects of mercury. It was named after Minamata, Japan, where industrial pollution caused severe mercury poisoning in the 1950s.

The treaty was adopted in 2013 and has been enforced since August 2017. The convention outlines measures to regulate mercury production, import and export, and reduce its use and release in various products and processes.

Key provisions include regulating the use of mercury in artisanal and small-scale gold mining, promoting alternatives to mercury in products and processes, and encouraging the exchange of information and best practices.  As of March 2023, 123 countries and the European Union have ratified the Minamata Convention.

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) estimates that ASGM’s use of mercury is responsible for the release of approximately 1000 tons of mercury into the environment each year. Thus, reducing the use of mercury in ASGM is crucial in decreasing its harmful effects on human health and the environment.

Since 2017, the PX Impact® initiative, which consists of working directly with a processing plant that processes the ore delivered by the miners, has been recognized as a very good alternative for all stakeholders wishing to commit to transparent and traceable ASM while generating a significant impact for the local population.

The PX Impact® initiative aims also to align with the Minamata convention’s objectives of reducing the use of mercury and its impact on the environment and human health. The PX Impact® project is making an important contribution to this effort by promoting the adoption of alternative gold extraction methods and helping ASGM operations to measure and manage their impact on the environment and local communities.

Since 2017, PX Précinox has been working with ASGM operations in various countries.

During this time, they have processed a total of 18 tons of gold, contributing to a reduction in mercury use of approximately 54 tons. This is a significant contribution to reducing mercury pollution and achieving the goals of the Minamata Convention.

Our next conference on this subject will be given at the OECD in Paris.
Meet us on April 25, between 8:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.