Policies & Issues

Mercury Free Mining Hires Bernadette Mack

Policies & IssuesMar 27, 2024

Mercury Free Mining Hires Bernadette Mack

The former WJA executive director is MFM’s new managing director.

Bernadette Mack
Bernadette Mack, who previously served as executive director of the WJA, has been hired as managing director of nonprofit Mercury Free Mining.
Corvallis, Ore.— Nonprofit Mercury Free Mining (MFM) has hired Bernadette Mack as its managing director, a newly created position. 

Founded in 2017, the organization works to eradicate mercury use in artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM). 

Mack’s hiring comes as part of the company’s planned expansion of programming and outreach. 

In her career of two decades, Mack has gained experience in the nonprofit sector and the jewelry industry, as well as expertise in the development of nonprofit operations, fundraising, marketing, and communication.  

She served as executive director of the Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) from 2012-2019 and has spent the last four years operating a private consultancy firm with clients including environmental groups, museums, theaters, an historical society, and a variety of small businesses. 

Her skills will aid the organization in its mission to protect people and the environment from the toxic effects of mercury pollution from artisanal gold mining, MFM said. 

In her new role, she will create operational systems as well as new outreach and funding pathways to support MFM’s future growth. 

“We couldn’t be happier that Bernadette has joined our team and mission. Her passion for nonprofit work and deep knowledge of organizational management are exactly what we need right now,” said Toby Pomeroy, MFM’s founder and executive director. 
 Related stories will be right here … 

Mack's appointment marks a “crucial phase of growth,” MFM said, and comes amid the start of new projects in Colombia and Sierra Leone, where the company continues to pursue its goal of eliminating the need to use mercury in artisanal gold mining by using a technology called Goldrop.

Initiatives in the countries stated above are underway to prove the technology’s effectiveness and practicality in real-world mining conditions, and ultimately establish Goldrop as the mining industry standard.

The technology behind Goldrop was invented by John Richmond of Sluice Goose Industries and patented in the U.S. in 2018.

It uses the elutriation process (precipitating out particles by means of an upward current of fluid, often water or air) to separate gold, including all heavy elements and minerals, from mineral concentrate and tailings, Pomeroy told National Jeweler via email while he was field-testing the technology in Ghana in 2020. 

“For years we’ve been working toward our vision of eradicating mercury use among artisanal and small-scale gold miners. With the discovery of the highly efficient Goldrop® technology, we feel we’re on the cusp of seeing our vision become reality,” said Pomeroy.  

“This is the ideal time for us to bring on an expert in nonprofit management to help us scale our operations to make huge strides in eliminating the use of mercury pollution from gold mining.” 

Mack added, “This mission is important and achievable - so to help advance what Toby, his supporters, and colleagues have built feels like a golden opportunity for me.”  

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