Macron tries to combat illegal mining in French Guiana – 03/25/2024 – Environment

Macron tries to combat illegal mining in French Guiana – 03/25/2024 – Environment


French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday (25) that the government is seeking to designate new regulated gold mining zones in French Guiana to combat illegal mining and its environmental consequences.

In a speech in the territory before a three-day trip to Brazil, Macron said France is considering drawing up a plan within three months for areas with gold reserves.

Workers in these areas must be required to follow sustainable mining rules, Macron said, including a ban on the use of mercury, a toxic metal used in gold extraction that spreads across rivers, oceans, forests and contaminates the population.

Illegal miners in the territory release around 1.3 kg of mercury for every 1 kg of gold extracted, data from the NGO WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) show.

The program will attempt to prevent illegal miners, many from neighboring countries, from entering these areas. The idea is to limit activities motivated by rising gold prices, Macron added.

The value of gold, which tends to rise in times of geopolitical risk, increased by 10% compared to the previous year, reaching close to US$70 per gram.

Last year, Macron said around five metric tons of gold had been mined from the territory, most of it illegally, and 35 kilograms (0.04 tons) had been seized by authorities.

Macron stated that the seized gold will now be sold to return funds to the territory, mainly through projects related to repairing the impacts of illegal mining.

The president also said he was seeking to increase cooperation with Suriname and Brazil to break illegal supply chains and improve military coordination. The objective is to establish a joint strategy until COP30, the UN summit on climate change that will be held in Belém, Brazil, in 2025.


Source link