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Title: Long-range effect of cyanide on mercury methylation in a gold mining area in southern Ecuador
Authors: Guimaraes, Jean Remi
Betancourt, Oscar
Barriga, Ramiro
Rodriguez, Marcio
Cueva, Edwin
Betancourt, Sebastián
Issue Date: 10-Sep-2011
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Guimaraes, J, O.Betancourt y R. Barriga, 2011. Long-range effect of cyanide on mercury methylation in a gold mining area in southern Ecuador. Science of the Total Environment 409: 5026–5033.
Series/Report no.: Science of the Total Environment;409
Abstract: Small-scale gold mining in Portovelo–Zaruma, Southern Equador, performed by mercury amalgamation and cyanidation, yields 9–10 t of gold/annum, resulting in annual releases of around 0.65 t of inorganic mercury and 6000 t of sodium cyanide in the local river system. The release of sediments, cyanide, mercury, and other metals present in the ore such as lead, manganese and arsenic significantly reduces biodiversity downstream the processing plants and enriches metals in bottom sediments and biota. However, methylmercury concentrations in sediments downstream the mining area were recently found to be one order of magnitude lower than upstream or in small tributaries. In this study we investigated cyanide, bacterial activity in water and sediment and mercury methylation potentials in sediments along the Puyango river watershed, measured respectively by in-situ spectrophotometry and incubation with 3H-leucine and 203Hg2+.
ISSN: 00489697
Appears in Collections:Publicaciones (PECES)

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