About the Mercury-Free Technology Atlas

In 2021, a research group at the University of Witwatersrand’s School of Mining Engineering won a grant from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to conduct an assessment of mercury free gold processing technologies for the ASM sector. Among the research questions we sought to answer was the question: why do some technologies succeed in some contexts and why do others fail to be adopted? We analysed dozens of established and emerging mercury free processing technologies trying to answer, for each, questions such as:
  • What types of deposits is the technology suitable for?
  • On what type of ore does it work best?
  • Where has it been tested?
  • We collected our data, completed our write-ups and submitted our manuscripts for peer review (to be published soon). But we also realised our data set could be made more useful to a wider audience if formatted correctly. And so, the Mercury Free Technology Atlas was born.

    We believed that if we gave the world the data we collected, the ASGM community could use it to inform their decision making. And in turn, the community would help contribute more data to the atlas, making the database more useful for the next person who needs it.


    Our vision for the atlas is for it to be an independent, community driven resource that catalogues data on mercury free technology. As such, we welcome any and all feedback and ideas on how to grow and improve your mercury free technology atlas.


    The atlas would not be possible without the authors that conducted the initial research: Pontsho Twala, Itai Mutemeri, Patience Singo, Nellia Mutemeri and Susan Keane. The authors would also like to thank the technology manufacturers, miners, development professionals, academics and more who contributed their time to providing the data used in the initial paper. The atlas also thanks the NRDC for providing funding for the development of the atlas. Lastly, a special thank you to you, the members of the ASGM community who share our vision to #MakingMercuryHistory.

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