Small Gold Mining Is (Can Be) Beautiful

Small Gold Mining Is (Can Be) Beautiful

AREAS OF STUDY: Environment and Community

Qualifies for CMS

Live Webcast Live Webcasts
  • Audience Level: Professional | New to Mining Tool Tip
  • Dates: Unscheduled Tool Tip
  • Early Bird: Tool Tip
  • Enrollment: Included Tool Tip
  • Registration Fee: Tool Tip
  • Location: Live Webcast Tool Tip
  • Duration: 3 sessions of 3 hours each
  • CEUs: 0.8 (8 PDHs) Tool Tip

Course Summary


This course will focus on processing methods used by artisanal gold miners, including amalgamation and cyanidation and demonstrate methods to reduce pollution, and transform artisanal miners into small-scale responsible miners. The course will cover in detail all aspects of gold processing with amalgamation and cyanidation and will highlight novel techniques that can be applied to small-scale operations.

The course integrates the technical, environmental, social, and political aspects of artisanal and small-scale mining bringing a holistic view for policy makers and for entrepreneurs. Cases will be presented where organized companies are working with artisanal miners in order to reduce conflicts and create a long-lasting sustainable relationship.


10 to 15 million people in developing countries are directly involved in small-scale artisanal mining of gold, producing 300 to 400 tonnes/year Au and causing high levels of river siltation, mercury pollution, and other environmental problems.

After four decades of intensification of artisanal and small-scale gold mining in virtually all developing countries, the environmental, social, and health situation of these miners has not improved much. Miners are releasing into the environment more than 1000 tonnes/year of mercury, mixing mercury with cyanide and intoxicating their families and neighbors. There are, however, a few small-miners, particularly in Ecuador, using more responsible and cleaner gold extraction methods.

Pre-Course e-Learning

Prior to the course, registered delegates have access to the online e-learning material consisting of two introductory courses titled Sustainable Development in Mining and Metal Mining Discharges - Impacts and Controls.

Certificate in Mining Studies

This course qualifies for one day of short course credit for the Certificate in Mining Studies (CMS), a continuing education program of accredited short courses, webcasts and online courses for lifelong learning in mining, supported by University of British Columbia, University of Arizona and University of Concepción. more details »

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Registered participants who attend the entire webcast and complete an evaluation at the end of the course will receive a Certificate of Attendance, confirming the Professional Development Hours (PDH)/Continuing Education Units (CEU) earned. Please confirm with your employer and/or professional association that this course qualifies for CPD.

Who Should Attend?

The course will be of particular interest to people working in government agencies (mining and environmental), entrepreneurs interested in small-scale gold mining, academics working with artisanal mining, and staff from large gold mining companies facing problems with artisanal gold miners in developing countries.

Dr. Marcello Veiga

Dr. Marcello Veiga has worked for the past twenty five years as a metallurgical engineer and environmental geochemist for mining and consulting companies in Brazil, Canada, US, Venezuela, Chile and Peru. He has worked extensively on environmental and social issues related to mining. As a professor of the Department of Mining Engineering at the University of British Columbia, since 1997, his research topics include: sustainable development in mining, mine closure and reclamation, remedial procedures for metal pollution (in particular mercury pollution, bioaccumulation and adverse effects of metals in the environment), acid rock drainage, and mineral processing. For 2 years, he worked as an expert for UNIDO - United Nations Industrial Development Organization, in Vienna, on issues related to artisanal gold mining in Asia, Africa and South America. Since Aug 2004, he is back to UBC to his academic activities.

Provisional Schedule

This webcast is scheduled to be held from 8:00am to 11:00am PST/Vancouver, Canada time.

Check the exact time and date in your city.

This webcast is divided into three sessions with following topics:

Session 1: October 20 from 8.00am to 11.00am Pacific Daylight Time

Artisanal and Small-scale Mining

  • A Bit of History
  • Serra Pelada
  • Problems
  • Accidents
  • Public Perception and Social Aspects of ASM
  • Structure of the Mining Business

Gold Reserves Are Not Increasing

  • Problems with Mercury
  • Amalgamation
    • Amalgamation of the Whole Ore
    • Use of Cyanide on Hg-contaminated Tailings
    • Processing Centers
    • When Mercury is Transported in the Streams
    • Mercury in Fish in Areas Far Away from Mines
    • Decomposing Amalgam
  • Melting Gold
    • Mercury Vapor Exposure
    • Effect of Hg Vapor to the Organism

Role of the Media: Facts and Fantasies

Solutions for Mercury Pollution and Demonstration of Solutions

  • Technical Solutions for the Hg Pollution
Session 2: October 21 from 8.00am to 11.00am Pacific Daylight Time


  • Hammer Mills
  • Chilean Mills
  • Ball Mills


  • Principles of Gravity Concentration
  • Selection of Gravity Concentration Equipment


  • Sluices
  • Magnetic Sluices
  • Centrifuges


  • Lab Tests for Flotation
Session 3: October 22 from 8.00am to 11.00am Pacific Daylight Time

Amalgamation of Concentrates

  • Amalgamation Drums
  • Activating Mercury
  • Amalgam & Heavy Minerals Separation
    • Separating Excess Mercury from Amalgam
  • Retorts
    • Arguments Used by Miners for Not Using Retorts
    • How to Operate a Retort
  • Replacing Use of Hg
    • Other Leaching Methods
  • Awareness Campaign

Future of Artisanal Mining Communities

  • Site Remediation Requirements:
  • Hotspots (Pollutes Sites)
  • Mercury Dispersed in Sediments
  • Summary of Technical Solutions
  • Political Issues
  • It Is Important to Know the Miners’ Needs
  • Some Important Points


How to Register

To register yourself, click the ‘Register Now’ button and complete the online registration form.

To register on behalf of someone else, or to register groups of 2 or more, please contact us; discounts may apply.

Questions? Please contact Edumine: +1 604 683 2037 or [email protected] and we will get back to you during regular business hours, Monday - Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm Pacific Time.

Registration Deadline

Online registration ends 15 minutes prior to the webcast; however phone registration can be accepted up to the start of the webcast. Please call +1 604 683 2037 ext. 259 for last-minute reservations. Webcasts fill up quickly. Early booking is advised!


The fee covers the lecture, access to electronic course notes, Pre-Course e-Learning and a certificate of attendance.

Early Bird: there is a 10% discount if you register at least 30 days prior to the course start date. A 10% discount is offered for groups of 5 or more OR if you provide your Annual Edumine subscription User ID at time of registration. The maximum discount that can be applied is 20%.

This webcast is designed for both individual and group participation and would make an excellent company-sponsored in-house training event. If you have a group of twenty or more who would like to attend this course from one location, please contact us at +1 604 683 2037 for special pricing.

How Webcasts Work

It's easy and our webcast saves on fees, travel and time! You will be able to ask questions and have live discussions during the webcast just as if you were there in person. At the time of the webcast, you connect to the internet, call in to a toll/toll-free number to hear and talk through the telephone or simply listen and speak over your headset/PC speakers using Voice over IP (VoIP). You see the presentation as well as the instructor on your computer screen.

System Requirements

To attend this webcast, you will need a computer with a high-speed internet connection (DSL or cable). You will also need a phone line or integrated microphone in your PC or a headset. For your comfort, it is recommended that you use a speaker phone or headset to connect to the webcast. Our system will support both PC and Apple computers using Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

Accessing the Webcast

One day prior to the webcast, you will be emailed a link for the webcast. About 15 minutes before the scheduled starting time, simply go to the website provided in the email. You should be able to simply click on the link in the email; however, some email programs may require that you copy the address and paste it into your browser's address bar. You will be asked to enter your name and email address, and you will need to enter the password that was sent to you in the email. Once you have logged in, a screen will pop up with the Voice over IP option or a toll/toll-free telephone number to call. Of course, our team is available to help if you have any questions about accessing the webcast: +1 604 683 2037 ext. 259.

Terms and Conditions

By submitting the webcast registration form, you agree to pay the associated fees in full before the course start date.


Notice of cancellation must be given in writing by letter, fax or email and action will be taken to recover, from the delegates or their employers, that portion of the fee owing at the time of cancellation.

If a delegate submits written notice of cancellation 10 or more business days prior to the first day of the webcast, Edumine will refund the cost of the webcast.

If a delegate submits written notice of cancellation prior to the webcast but within 9 business days of the first day of the webcast, Edumine will refund the delegate's payment less a 10% administration fee.

If a delegate submits written notice of cancellation after the webcast has started, or misses all or a portion of the webcast without notice, no refund will be granted.

Edumine reserves the right to cancel an advertised course on short notice. It will endeavour to provide participants with as much notice as possible, but will not accept liability for costs incurred by participants or their organisations as a result of the course being cancelled or postponed. If a course is cancelled, fees will be refunded in full. Edumine also reserves the right to postpone or make such alterations to the content of a course as may be necessary.