Gold Extraction using micro organisms as an alternative to mercury in Kenya
The project addresses mercury use in gold mines and offers an alternative which is not only sustainable for the environment, but also a more efficient way of optimizing gold recovery . Borax use has not yet been implemented among gold miners in Kenya.Cyanide used by small scale miners in gold extraction has increased the environmental challenges faced by communities neighbouring artisanal and small scale gold mining activities. There are recent cases of gold miners succumbing to mercury poisoning and most of the mercury can be traced in their hairs when samples are taken to the lab for testing.The project will involve use of biotechnology in gold processing. In most parts of the country, mercury is employed in the processing stage of gold . However, it has a negative impact on the environment and poses a health threat to the users if safety is compromised. Furthermore, mercury adds to the cost of mineral processing. It is an expensive chemical to use. The price of mercury is greatly influenced by the price of gold at the time. In this paper, biotechnology as applied to metal extraction, mineral beneficiation and environmental control is illustrated.