Small-scale mercury-free gold mining in Mongolia

2 of 11
gold ore

credit: Chris Tackett

Gold Ore

In many ways, the biggest story in Mongolia right now is the story of mining. The biggest mine, the Oyu Tolgoi mine in the Gobi desert gets much of the media attention, but it is the small-scale mines that are creating one of the biggest problems, which is due to their use of mercury.

This facility offers an alternative. Above are bags of gold ore pulled from mine shafts by independent miners that have brought it to this facility to process and turn into gold that can be sold. Here it is crushed, washed and filtered until a very fine gold dust is collected.