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Brilliant Earth Aims to Reduce Mercury in Gold Mining

Oct 26, 2022 7:04 AM   By Leah Meirovich
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Brilliant Earth is working on a new initiative to reduce the amount of mercury used in gold mining throughout the Peruvian Amazon and to create a Fairmined ecological supply chain.

“Harmful supply chain practices are typically used to mine gold, but little has been done to create impactful solutions to help those involved in it, with the focus on keeping costs lower,” Brilliant Earth CEO Beth Gerstein said Monday.

The project, called Green Mining, is a partnership between the jeweler, international nonprofit organization Pure Earth, and the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM). Through the initiative, gold miners are trained and transitioned to use mercury-free techniques and to learn how to rehabilitate damaged land through reforestation. It also guides them through the process of receiving the ARM’s Fairmined certification.

Green Mining currently has more than 50 miners signed up to the project from the Association of Artisanal Miners Tauro Fátima (AMATAF), located in the Madre de Dios region of the Peruvian rainforest. Once they become certified, they will be able to sell their gold to international markets, Brilliant Earth explained.

“We believe the jewelry industry holds the key to solving this problem,” said Pure Earth president Richard Fuller. “For the past 20 years, Pure Earth has worked to reduce the global mercury threat by training miners worldwide to go mercury-free, but our efforts can only scale up and be sustainable if responsible jewelers...step in to help support, raise awareness and create demand for mercury-free gold mining. This will encourage more miners to change the way they mine and fuel the transformation of both the gold-mining and the jewelry industry.”

Image: An artisanal miner using mercury for gold extraction. (Shutterstock)
Tags: Alliance for Responsible Mining, AMATAF, arm, Association of Artisanal Miners Tauro Fátima, Beth Gerstein, Brilliant Earth, fairmined, gold mining, Green Mining, Leah Meirovich, Pure Earth, Richard Fuller
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