Policies & Issues

Lashbrook Signs on As Mercury-Free Mining Premier Sponsor

Policies & IssuesNov 11, 2020

Lashbrook Signs on As Mercury-Free Mining Premier Sponsor

And more on where the initiative is at in its mission to eradicate the use of mercury in artisanal and small-scale gold mining.

20201111_MFM-header.jpg
Artisanal gold miners at work in Ivory Coast (Photo credit: Reuters, licensed to Mercury-Free Mining). The Mercury-Free Mining initiative has new support in 2020-2021 Premier Sponsor Lashbrook.
Corvallis, Ore.—Custom wedding ring manufacturer Lashbrook has become the 2020-2021 Premier Sponsor of the Mercury Free Mining (MFM) initiative.

The company’s $50,000 contribution will help the program in its efforts to find effective technologies for the safe, mercury-free mining of gold, connect small-scale and artisanal miners with these processes so they can protect themselves, and ensure the miners are more profitable as well.

“We greatly appreciate and commend Lashbrook’s leadership and commitment to the eradication of mercury from the global gold supply chain,” said Toby Pomeroy, MFM founder and executive director. “Industry support like that of Lashbrook is critical to advancing our mission and will help in immeasurable ways.”

Launched by Pomeroy in 2017, the initial goal of MFM (originally called the Mercury-Free Mining Challenge) was to get the jewelry industry to put up a $1 million prize for the creation of a safe, scalable and effective alternative to the use of mercury in mining by artisanal gold miners.

Artisanal miners produce 20 percent of the world’s annual gold supply, and almost all of them use the element to separate the gold they find from other materials.

They burn off the mercury by heating it, sending 12,000 pounds of toxic particles into the air that are harmful to people and the environment.

In January, founder Pomeroy traveled to Ghana to test a separation process called Goldrop that could fulfill his organization’s ultimate goal by using the elutriation process to separate gold, including all heavy elements and minerals, from mineral concentrate and tailings.

Elutriation is a process of precipitating out particles by means of an upward current of fluid, often water or air.

Pomeroy told National Jeweler in an email update Tuesday that following a promising report from the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners (GNASSM), MFM was considering raising funds to help bring Festus Adomako Kusi and Peter Osei, GNASSM mining engineers they had worked with in Ghana, and Ishmael Quaicoe from the University of Mines and Technology in Tarkwa, Ghana to the U.S. to continue testing and refining the Goldrop process. 

But in March, COVID-19 travel restrictions ended those plans, as it did so many others. Shortly after Pomeroy also learned of the unexpected death of GNASSM’s Kusi. 

Pomeroy said MFM hopes the engineers will continue exploring Goldrop’s potential in Ghana. 

Meanwhile, the MFM and the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) continue to explore ways to connect innovative “green” mining  technologies with interested mining communities.  
In an initiative between the two and Coodmilla Ltda.—a Fairmined certified gold mining cooperative in La Llanada, Colombia that has never used mercury in its mining—gold ore concentrates from Coodmilla were sent to the MFM office in Oregon for analysis and comparative processing by two gravimetric separation methods. 

The two processors, Goldrop and Gold Strike Micron Gold, processes the Colombian ore samples to demonstrate their efficiencies in recovering gold from its mineral concentrates. 

Pomeroy said he recorded a video of them applying their processes to the ore and will submit a report about the procedures and efficiencies to ARM, which will pass it on to Coodmilla. 

If either or both technologies seem easy enough to use and allow the miners to mine more profitably, Coodmilla may elect to integrate one or both into its mining methods. 

If they do choose to use one or both and find that production is significantly improved, “this will be earthshaking news,” Pomeroy told National Jeweler. 

“The Coodmilla Cooperative’s current methods would be considered state-of-the-art by many ASGM processors around the world, and if an improved method of ore processing is available that allows them to mine more efficiently and profitably, the world will want to know about it.”

If all goes as they hope, MFM and ARM then would help set up on-the-ground testing programs in mining communities, and after that, pilot programs if they’d like to keep using them.

Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

The Latest

Indian actress Saiyami Kher celebration sapphires
SourcingFeb 27, 2024
Fura’s New Sapphire Jewelry Is Traceable to the Source

The gemstone mining company’s “Celebration Sapphires” collection has launched in India.

National Jeweler columnist Lilian Raji
ColumnistsFeb 27, 2024
The PR Adviser: Leveraging Those Early Victories

Lilian Raji offers advice to a “small brand with big dreams” that is unsure of what its next step should be.

Sotheby’s MoonSwatch Suitcase auction
AuctionsFeb 27, 2024
Sotheby’s MoonSwatch Suitcases Sell for Over $600K

The auction house sold all 11 “MoonSwatch Moonshine Gold” suitcases, donating the proceeds to eye care nonprofit Orbis International.

GIA id100
Brought to you by
Full Disclosure at Your Fingertips

Distinguishing natural diamonds from laboratory-grown stones – now more available than ever – has been difficult for jewelers. Until now.

Nikia Levesque
MajorsFeb 27, 2024
Nikia Levesque Joins WJA Board as Foundation VP

The association also announced five new board members.

Weekly QuizFeb 22, 2024
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge with this short test.
Take the Quiz
Matteo Farsura Italian Exhibition Group
Events & AwardsFeb 27, 2024
IEG Names New Exhibition Manager for Jewelry, Fashion Division

Matteo Farsura, former exhibition manager of Vicenzaoro, will oversee the Italian Exhibition Group’s various jewelry and fashion shows.

Lightbox lab grown diamond pendant in yellow gold
Lab-GrownFeb 26, 2024
Lightbox ‘Significantly’ Lowered Its Prices in Q4

The De Beers-owned lab-grown diamond company dropped the price on its standard offerings from $800/carat to $600/carat.

flashforge pic.png
Brought to you by
WaxJet: Revolution in Jewelry Manufacturing

The WaxJet 400, recognized as the world's fastest wax printer, is bringing in a new era of precision and efficiency to industry.

JA New York signs
Events & AwardsFeb 26, 2024
JA New York to Bring the Diamond District to Spring Show

The upcoming show will have an immersive “47th Street Experience” for attendees.

GIA Dubai laboratory
GradingFeb 26, 2024
GIA Opens Lab in Dubai

The new DMCC Laboratory at Uptown Tower will initially serve clients in Dubai free trade zones.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 36 with affirmations
WatchesFeb 23, 2024
Rolex to Open New Watchmaking School in Dallas

The Rolex Watchmaking Training Center will welcome its first class this fall.

Guzema Freedom heart pendant for Ukraine
CollectionsFeb 23, 2024
Piece of the Week: Guzema’s ‘Freedom’ for Ukraine Pendant

Ukrainian jewelry designer Valeriya Guzema’s charitable “Freedom” collection is inspired by hope for the country’s future.

Elton John’s leopard print Rolex Daytona watch
AuctionsFeb 22, 2024
Elton John’s Leopard-Print Rolex Roars at Auction

Two Cartier watches also topped their estimates at Christie’s “The Collection of Sir Elton John: Goodbye Peachtree Road” evening sale.

Buccellati header
TrendsFeb 22, 2024
Buccellati to Open ‘Prince of Goldsmiths’ Exhibition

Set to be held in Venice, it’s a look through the maison’s history.

813-carat “Constellation” diamond in rough form
SourcingFeb 22, 2024
Lucara, HB Group Partnership Revived

It is another 10-year sales agreement in which all the larger rough recovered from the Karowe mine will go to HB Group for manufacturing.

Sebastian Clarke and Katherine van Dell of Heritage Auctions
AuctionsFeb 22, 2024
Heritage Auctions Adds 2 New Hires to West Palm Beach Office

Sebastian Clarke and Katherine van Dell, frequent appraisers on “Antiques Roadshow,” will join the new office.

National Jeweler columnist Sherry Smith
ColumnistsFeb 21, 2024
On Data: January Was a ‘Mixed Bag’ for Independent Jewelers

Sherry Smith dishes on the month’s highs and lows and the two categories consumers were loving ahead of Valentine’s Day.

Stock image of diamonds
GradingFeb 21, 2024
GIA’s Same-Day Service Now Available Everywhere

The new service, introduced to stem fraud related to lab-grown diamonds, will be offered at no cost for the time being.

Jam + Rico Claire’s jewelry
CollectionsFeb 21, 2024
Jam + Rico Debuts Second Claire’s Collection

Founder Lisette Scott was inspired by the intricacy, colors, and symbolism of African art and architecture.

Rapaport logo
SourcingFeb 21, 2024
Rapaport to Hold Another Natural Pearl Auction

Viewings start this week in New York and bidding will close on March 8.

National Jeweler columnist Peter Smith
ColumnistsFeb 20, 2024
Squirrel Spotting: Life After Rolex

Peter Smith shares advice from independent jewelers who used losing this cornerstone brand as a catalyst for reinvention.

Neile Adams McQueen and Steve McQueen
AuctionsFeb 20, 2024
Jewels from Neile Adams McQueen Shine at Bonhams

All 13 lots belonging to the actress and first wife of Steve McQueen sold at the recent “California Jewels” sale.

Stuller bench jeweler
Events & AwardsFeb 20, 2024
Stuller to Host Bench Jeweler Workshop in March

Registration is also open for its “Battle of the Benches” challenge.

Mary Ball Gorman of Henry B. Ball Jewelers
IndependentsFeb 16, 2024
Mary Ball Gorman of Henry B. Ball Jewelers Dies at 99

Gorman was an industry trailblazer, serving as the first female treasurer of Jewelers of America.

Jade Ruzzo gold and diamond Tennessee Torque necklace
CollectionsFeb 16, 2024
Piece of the Week: Jade Ruzzo’s Tribute to Tennessee

The movement of the 18-karat gold and diamond “Tennessee Torque” necklace is subtle.

Jared Goff and Claudia Cividino
MajorsFeb 15, 2024
Detroit Lions’ QB Jared Goff Going to Jared

Goff, whose fans hold up “He Went to Jared” signs at games, has signed a partnership with the retailer.

De Beers Venetia diamond mine
SourcingFeb 15, 2024
De Beers’ Production Down 8% in 2023

The company recovered 31.9 million carats of diamonds in 2023, compared with 34.6 million in 2022.

×

This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy