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MEI Online: Environmental Issues: Latest News: September 22nd 2010


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:: The End of Mercury Usage in Gold Mining?

Haber, Inc, a Delaware corporation headquartered in Arlington, Mass., with proprietary technologies in the separations sciences and “green” processing of gold bearing ores, has announced the completion of successful extraction demonstrations in Suriname on sulfide gold ores utilizing its environmentally friendly technologies and urges the international community to support the global implementation of its technologies to eradicate the use of mercury in gold extraction processes.

Haber Inc. has performed successful extraction demonstrations in the Republic of Suriname using its “green gold” recovery technology on sulfide ores. The 99% extraction efficiency demonstrated that the Haber process can more than double the current extraction efficiencies generally obtained in Suriname with the use of mercury. Consequently, the Surinamese Government has initiated strategic partnership discussions with Haber to advance the Government’s “green gold” policy.

Albert B. Conti, CEO of Haber stated," After the first day of testing, results achieved in Suriname on small scale miners’ (SSM) gold ores yielded 99% extraction efficiencies in less than 30 minutes. The assays were provided by Filabs-Suriname located in Paramaribo, which acted as third party referee for all testing. Their published results show Haber’s extraction efficiency is over two times greater than the average 30-35% extraction efficiency generally being obtained in Suriname using mercury. This efficiency improvement can increase gold revenues substantially for all stakeholders without any additional mining effort and could provide a significant economic stimulus to the country. In attendance for the tests were The National Institute on Environment and Development (NIMOS) as well as other government officials, SSM, media and IAMGOLD Corporation on whose concession the SSM are mining."

Conti continues, “There is a broader narrative and universal importance to these outstanding test results. It has been estimated that approximately 35% of all mercury emissions released globally into the environment are due to SSMs operating in approximately 45 countries, and this percentage is increasing annually. Haber is confident that it has developed a commercially viable solution to reverse this trend. Mercury is pervasive and affects us all as it contaminates the food we eat and the air we breathe. We have a realistic solution in our grasp to reduce the impact of mercury in the lives of millions around the world. It is imperative that Haber work to marshal international support for the adoption of its technologies and to provide relief to the over 60 million SSMs and their families who suffer from the desperate scourge of mercury."

The principal inducement and catalyst for SSMs to abandon their use of mercury is the promise of the Haber technologies to substantially increase SSM’s incomes over what they can achieve from their continued use of mercury. The demonstrated test results achieved by Haber on a wide variety of Suriname ore types from SSMs is an indication that this strategy of converting SSMs away from mercury use is achievable. Conti stated, “It is Haber’s hope that serious dialogue and support will be forthcoming from all concerned international parties and mining companies, and that a prioritized, comprehensive implementation of “green” extraction technologies can ultimately lead to a path of controlling and eliminating the global threat of mercury usage from all gold mining.




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