No other metal that has captured the attention of man more than gold. Throughout history gold has served as currency benchmarks, circuits in modern electronics, and symbols of enduring love. However, artisanal gold mining (AGM) represents a stark and present reminder of the cost for this precious metal. AGM actives heavily rely on the use of mercury, a potent neurotoxin, for gold extraction. International institutions, non-governmental organizations, and academic institutions have stepped up to provide national and international organization, technical intervention, and scientific research into the ASGM sector. In spite of this, the impact of mercury exposure on the estimated 12-15 million artisanal gold miners and the full scope of global mercury pollution are still not fully understood. Together with a panel of artisanal gold mining experts, environmental and social NGO’s, and environmental health scientists, the IDC 2017 will discuss the current state of artisanal gold mining, the scope and impact of mercury pollution, and the effectiveness of technical and legal interventions in reforming artisanal gold mining practices.


Jack Caravanos - Director of Research, Pure Earth/Blacksmith Institute

Bridget Burgquist - Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Toronto

Peter Rosenbluth - Program Planning and Development Manager, Artisanal Gold Council

Angela Li-Muller - Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto