(CORVALLIS, Ore.) - In response to the severe global health and ecological impacts resulting from the use of mercury by artisanal gold miners (ASGM), a major new effort to address this issue is being launched by Mercury Free Mining (MFM).
According to Mercury Free Mining (MFM), more than 15 million subsistence gold miners inadvertently release 8,000 pounds of mercury into the environment every day causing irreversible neurological damage in their families, communities and globally. Most susceptible are pregnant women, their fetuses and young children.
Mercury Free Mining is a recently established nonprofit corporation organizing a challenge campaign offering a $1 million prize to the individual, team or organization that discovers an affordable and reliable alternative to mercury in mining. Founder and CEO Toby Pomeroy is organizing a team from the jewelry, gemstone, mining, refining and gold trading sector that will manage, publicize, and conduct the challenge prize. MFM’s Judging Panel will select the prize winner for the new and urgently needed safe, and effective technology that eliminates the need for mercury use in artisanal gold mining.
“It is my immense privilege to be partnering with these visionary leaders who together will illuminate this unparalleled opportunity and ignite the global will to conduct this challenge prize, discovering the solution to a persistent problem that will contribute to the health and longevity of all life on earth,” said Pomeroy.
Working with Pomeroy are widely recognized leaders from the jewelry, diamond, gem and mining industries. The MFM Board of Directors is chaired by Bill Boyajian, former President and CEO of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Other Board members include Eric Laker of Lashbrook, Treasurer; Ronnie VanderLinder of Diamex, Secretary; and Marty Hurwitz, founder, and CEO of MVI Marketing LLC, will serve as MFM’s Marketing Director. In addition, Jerry Buckley, a nationally recognized and award-winning fundraising and nonprofit executive, is MFM’s Director of Global Initiatives.
Chairman Boyajian continues: “We are facing a huge problem and we have an opportunity to unite as an industry and make a tremendous global difference. I’m thrilled to be engaged in this project and we welcome leaders from all facets of the trade to join us.”
For additional information visit https://mercuryfreemining.org.