Translator Disclaimer
1 December 2000 Environmental Impact of Small-scale and Artisanal Gold Mining in Southern Ecuador
Author Affiliations +
Abstract

Small-scale gold mining in southern Ecuador is causing considerable environmental impacts, the most important of which are related to the discharge of metals, metalloids and cyanide into adjacent rivers. In the rivers, these contaminants are generally not present in water-soluble forms, but are instead associated with suspended particles and river bed sediment. However, elevated levels in biota show these contaminants to be readily bioavailable. These results suggest a need to consider the suspended and sediment phases when evaluating water-quality impacts, and in setting appropriate environmental water-quality standards. Contaminant discharges, are almost entirely caused by inadequate management of the waste products derived from mining and processing activities, indicating a failure of policy and public supervision to control the mining activities, as well as a general difficulty in achieving good environmental performance among small-scale miners. These findings suggest that Ecuadorian policy needs to develop to enable small scale and artisanal miners to become larger scale.

N. Håkan Tarras-Wahlberg, Adriana Flachier, Göran Fredriksson, Stuart Lane, Bo Lundberg, and Olof Sangfors "Environmental Impact of Small-scale and Artisanal Gold Mining in Southern Ecuador," AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment 29(8), (1 December 2000). https://doi.org/10.1579/0044-7447-29.8.484
Received: 27 December 1999; Accepted: 1 April 2000; Published: 1 December 2000
JOURNAL ARTICLE
8 PAGES

This article is only available to subscribers.
It is not available for individual sale.
+ SAVE TO MY LIBRARY

SHARE
ARTICLE IMPACT
RIGHTS & PERMISSIONS
Get copyright permission
Back to Top