Alluvial gold mining leads to contamination of Siberian rivers in Russia

Photo: Funart

Alluvial gold mining remains one of the major reasons of contamination of almost 1,500 km of Siberian rivers in Russia, according to a recent report, prepared by WWF.


According to the report, satellite monitoring show many kilometers of Siberian rivers were polluted as a result of alluvial gold mining.


The most complex situation is currently observed in the Russian Krasnoyarsk Territory, Kemerovo Region, Tuva and Khakassia.


At present alluvial gold mining in Russia is associated with serious damage to environment, particular water resources of the country, as water is polluted by suspended particles of clay and sand.


Still, at present, the industry employs more than 40,000 people with the annual production of alluvial gold in Russia of about 80 tons. Due to this, the government and local regulators, so far, have refrained from the introduction of strict penalties and suspension of issuing licenses for alluvial gold mining even in case of damage to environment as a result of such activities.


In the meantime, representatives of local gold miners believe the main reason of contamination of Siberian rivers is primarily the activities of illegal producers.

By: Eugen Gerden