AM prohibit mining in mercury in Rio Negro


AM prohibit mining in mercury in Rio Negro

In two weeks, the State promises to announce goal for the abolition of the substance in other rivers

August 31, 2012 | 03:04

Bruno Deiro-O Estado de s. Paulo














Amazon will prohibit the use of mercury to gold extraction in the Rio Negro in up to one month. In two weeks, the local Government promises to announce a goal for the abolition of the substance in other rivers of the State. 

The decision came after the researchers ‘ protest against the resolution 011/2012, State Environment Council, which regulates the gold mines of Amazonas. On Thursday, 30, were voted on 7 of 12 changes in the original project proposals by experts in the environmental area.

“We were informed of the emergency situation in the basin of the Rio Negro, where the concentration of mercury is already naturally high because of the local geology,” explains Antonio Ademir Stroski, Institute of Environmental Protection of the Amazon (Ipaam), one of the responsible for the resolution. “The ban on mercury in this area will be immediate, because there are communities in which the contamination levels are much higher than the acceptable.”

In a second meeting, probably on day 13, the Council will vote targets for the end of the mercury in other rivers of the State.

According to Stroski, the term shall not be less than two years. “In less time than it will be unenforceable. We have to give time to make the transition, because whole families are living during 7 months of this source of income, “he says. The expectation is that after this second vote, the final text of the resolution will be published in the Official Gazette until the end of this month.


According to the Council, only on the Madeira River about 3 000 families depend on the prospecting activity. Research on top of Rio Negro show that the average concentration of mercury in the body in riverine populations reaches 70 parts per million (ppm)-the World Health Organization (who) lays down 50 ppm as a safe limit.

The State Department of Environment seeks alternatives to mercury for extraction. Among the main betting is to enhance the use of vibrating table, an instrument which is still inefficient and has a high cost.

Meanwhile, the Ipaam promises to broaden surveillance in areas that ban will be immediate, in addition to fighting the illegal miners. “We will increase the effective even in 2012, with the emergency hiring for 12 months,” says Stroski. “We are closing also partnered with the Navy to make the monitoring of rivers.”,am-proibira-mercurio-em-garimpo-no-rio-negro-,923878,0.htm


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