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New from Snet: Lithologs, a new tool to create lithological/sedimentological logs online..

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Catastrophic Mercury Levels in the Philippines

Somewhere between 200 and 500 tons of mercury is discharged every year into the Philippine environment from small scale gold mining. If this continues without any cleanup it may lead to the death of hundred of thousands of people within few years - not to mention a shameful increase in handicapped newborns. In some gold mining areas around 40% of the population is already suffering from mercury poisoning.

There may be two ways to improve the situation:
Replace mercury with borax to refine gold in small scale mining.Clean up tailings on an industrial scale could lead not only to the recovery of large amounts of commercially valuable mercury, but also to extraction of a lot of gold still existing in the tailings due to the less efficient small scale mining methods.
Supporting the Philippine economy, improving the health standard, and reduce the environmental contamination, all at the same time seems a good idea.

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