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Peru begin project to reduce the use of mercury in artisanal and small-scale gold mining




Lima, 16 January 2020 — The inception workshop of the planetGOLD Peru project “Integrated Mercury Management in Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining in Peru” was implemented today by the Ministry of the Environment of Peru (MINAM) in partnership with the Ministry of Energy and Mines of Peru (MINEM), with technical support from the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The planetGOLD program aims to reduce and/or eliminate mercury emissions and releases from the artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) sector.

“The project seeks to focus on the solution to the use of mercury in artisanal and small-scale gold mining. The participation of Peru is an important process that not only has to do with the economy and environment, but also social structures, because there are many families involved who need guidance and support," said Jorge Álvarez, Environmental Sustainability Program Officer at UNDP Peru.

The inception workshop of the planetGOLD Peru project announced the objectives and work strategies of the project in the country, as well as the national priorities within the framework of the project and the global component of the program that is being carried out in 9 countries.

Regarding the mining formalization process and the planetGOLD Peru project, Guiliana Becerra, Director of the planetGOLD project, pointed out that “the great challenge as a country is how to make these formalized companies use clean and sustainable technologies in time. The planetGOLD project has a strategy for developing financial inclusion models for access to cleaner mercury-free technologies.”

The event was attended by Lies Araceli Linares, Vice Minister of Environmental Management, Jorge Álvarez, UNDP Environmental Sustainability Program Officer, Giuliana Patricia Becerra, planetGOLD Peru Director, Paloma Somohano, UNDP Program Analyst for the Montreal Protocol and Chemicals Unit, Franco Arista Rivera, planetGOLD National Coordinator and Lenin Valencia, General Director of Mining Formalization of Mining and Energy Ministry.

planetGOLD Peru inception workshop presenters


The planetGOLD Peru Project

Between 300,000-400,000 miners work in the ASGM sector in all 24 departments of Peru, contributing between 15% and 20% of the nation's gold production. According to a report published in 2017 by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), this sector uses an average of 145 tonnes of mercury annually, impacting health and ecosystems.

In this context, UNDP and the Government of Peru seek to support the commitments signed in 2013 under the Minamata Convention to adopt measures to reduce and/or eliminate emissions and releases of mercury into the environment by ASGM. The planetGOLD Peru project will work with 12 mining communities and organizations located in Arequipa, Piura, and Puno in order to reduce 15 tonnes of mercury emissions and releases over the next 5 years.

The planetGOLD project includes 4 strategic areas: strengthening institutions and the regulatory framework for a mercury-free ASGM, granting loans for the acquisition of mercury-free technologies, technical assistance in clean technologies with support for formalization, and raising awareness of the dangers of mercury and ways to reduce its use in ASGM.

The development of the planetGOLD Peru project is carried out thanks to the financing of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the leadership of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and the technical support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). It is executed by the Ministry of Environment of Peru (MINAM) in partnership with the Ministry of Energy and Mines of Peru (MINEM).

The planetGOLD Peru project is one of 9 national projects that have been implemented as part of the Global Opportunities for Long-Term Development of the ASGM Sector - GEF GOLD Program. The governments that participate in the global initiative are Guyana, Colombia, Ecuador, Burkina Faso, Peru, Kenya, Mongolia, the Philippines, and Indonesia.

For more information about the project and its impact on ASGM, visit


Will creating a research and field trial of the amazing DC powered GOLDROP -portable elutriation gold separator manufactured by Sluice Goose Industries of Albany OR, USA- be a seriously considered technological artisanal gold mining tool/advancement in Peru?

I am an early beta tester of this tool (pre-release) and am most impressed with design, portability and superior function in harvesting gold so very easily, in less time than artisanal miners have known heretofore. Even more importantly, NO MERCURY is involved whatsoever in using this separator.
Dear Rosey, thanks for your message. Could you send us more information about Goldrop? You can contact with Franco Arista, planetGOLD National Coordinator at