The Technical Assistance Partnership (TAP) and a Canadian expert on mercury and artisanal gold mining are collaborating with Nigeria’s Ministry of Mines and Steel Development to develop the capacity of artisanal miners in transitioning to alternative methods, such as mercury-free extraction. This transition aims to foster improved socioeconomic outcomes for miners and the communities where mining operations occur.
The primary objective of this initiative is to promote the reduction and later elimination of mercury usage and facilitate compliance with the Minamata Convention on Mercury. A comprehensive six-day technical assistance course is offered to Ministry of Mines and Steel Development officials. Reducing the reliance on mercury, particularly in Nigeria’s artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sector, the health of women and children can be significantly improved. Given women’s predominant roles in ASM, they are disproportionately exposed to mercury, making it crucial to prioritize their well-being and rights.
Marcello Veiga, a metallurgical engineer, specializing in pioneering techniques aimed at reducing and later eradicating the utilization of mercury in artisanal gold mining will lead this initiative. He will focus on adult education, employing an immersive learning methodology encompassing comprehensive training, personalized coaching, and effective mentoring. The work will align and draw upon the extensive work conducted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) concerning alternative avenues for mercury elimination.