Background. The high value of gold reserves in West Sumbawa Regency (WSR) and West Nusa Tenggara Province, Indonesia has resulted in an increase in small-scale gold mining activity in this area. Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) is an attractive alternative livelihood for rural workers because it has good potential to improve the wealth of a community. Miners need very little training to mine gold and the transition from traditional farming or fishing is easy to make. However, the key environmental consequence of ASGM in West Sumbawa is the extensive use of mercury and its impact on human health. Objectives. The ASGM activity in WSR is quite recent when compared to other ASGM activity in Indonesia. The current study was conducted to better understand the lifestyle, extent of mercury exposure,and the health of people living in WSR, West Nusa Tenggara Province, Indonesia. Methods. The present study was designed as a purposive field sampling study conducted in WSR, West Nusa Tenggara Province, Indonesia. The subjects were miners and families from three different sites within the WSR: individuals directly exposed to mercury, indirectly exposed individuals and non-exposed individuals. Hair mercury analysis was done with all subjects. Health questionnaires, physical examinations and socio-economic surveys were conducted with exposed subjects. Results. The ASGM sector in the WSR consists of a high number of migrant workers who have a great economic impact on the local area, high mercury use, a great deal of illegal mercury trading, and a high mercury concentration (>13 mg/kg) in their hair. The results suggest that ASGM activities affect the health of exposed and indirectly exposed individuals. Conclusions. The current scale of ASGM activity in the WSR is predicted to rise. ASGM activities in the WSR is an important challenge that needs to be addressed.

Analysis of Artisanal Small-scale Gold Mining Sector in West Sumbawa Regency, Indonesia

VASSURA, IVANO
2016

Abstract

Background. The high value of gold reserves in West Sumbawa Regency (WSR) and West Nusa Tenggara Province, Indonesia has resulted in an increase in small-scale gold mining activity in this area. Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) is an attractive alternative livelihood for rural workers because it has good potential to improve the wealth of a community. Miners need very little training to mine gold and the transition from traditional farming or fishing is easy to make. However, the key environmental consequence of ASGM in West Sumbawa is the extensive use of mercury and its impact on human health. Objectives. The ASGM activity in WSR is quite recent when compared to other ASGM activity in Indonesia. The current study was conducted to better understand the lifestyle, extent of mercury exposure,and the health of people living in WSR, West Nusa Tenggara Province, Indonesia. Methods. The present study was designed as a purposive field sampling study conducted in WSR, West Nusa Tenggara Province, Indonesia. The subjects were miners and families from three different sites within the WSR: individuals directly exposed to mercury, indirectly exposed individuals and non-exposed individuals. Hair mercury analysis was done with all subjects. Health questionnaires, physical examinations and socio-economic surveys were conducted with exposed subjects. Results. The ASGM sector in the WSR consists of a high number of migrant workers who have a great economic impact on the local area, high mercury use, a great deal of illegal mercury trading, and a high mercury concentration (>13 mg/kg) in their hair. The results suggest that ASGM activities affect the health of exposed and indirectly exposed individuals. Conclusions. The current scale of ASGM activity in the WSR is predicted to rise. ASGM activities in the WSR is an important challenge that needs to be addressed.
Vassura, Ivano
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/585447
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