Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) in developing countries is the largest remaining intentional use of mercury in the world. In contrast to other industrial uses, all of the mercury used in ASGM is released directly into the environment. As a result, worldwide ASGM is second only to the burning of coal (primarily in coal- red power plants) as a source of mercury to the atmosphere.
This fact sheet provides an overview of the use of mercury in ASGM and potential solutions to reduce and, where possible, eliminate mercury use in ASGM. It also highlights the role of the international community in supporting the implementation of solutions.