Environmental assessment of two artisanal gold mining sites in eastern DR Congo

This report is an environmental assessment of mercury pollution in two artisanal gold mining sites in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). It was conducted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) based on fieldwork in Butuzi, South Kivu and Some, Ituri. The purpose of this assessment is to provide technical advice to Partnership Africa Canada’s (PAC) pioneering ‘Just Gold’ project, which aims to bring legal, conflict-free, and traceable gold from the two aforementioned artisanal mine sites to international markets. In this respect, technical assistance on mercury reduction resulting in increased gold production is also an integral component of the incentive-based model that PAC’s project aims to develop to encourage artisanal producers to sell their gold through legal channels. This study represents the first field assessment of mercury use, emissions and releases to the environment by the artisanal gold mining sector in the DRC.