health

Nevada’s Jerritt Canyon mine criticized for safety violations

IMG_2724aThe company Veris Gold USA, owner and operator of the Jerritt Canyon mine in Elko County, Nevada, is being the target of hard criticism by the assistant US secretary of labor.

Apparently the gold mine has failed to protect its workers after federal inspectors issued more than 60 citations and orders related to health and safety violations.

These 49 citations and 12 safety orders are currently subject to more than $200,000 in potential penalties. According to RGJ.com, the violations at the mine, which employs 120 workers, include blocked emergency escape routes, faulty pressure relief valves and improperly stored hazardous chemicals.

Veris Gold_Jerritt Canyon_Starvation Canyon bolting portal_2012This mine and the Hanover Resources LLC’s Caymus Mine in West Virginia are among the 13 North-American mines that received a total of 135 citations and 24 orders resulting from inspections in December, said Joseph Main, assistant labor secretary for mine safety and health:

These two examples clearly indicate that some mine operators still don’t get it. They simply failed to comply with the Mine Act, and find and fix hazards to protect miners from ….Read more

Children in the Philippines are damaging their health while mining for gold

399px-thumbnailThere are currently 115 million children with ages from five to 17 years old who work in hazardous occupations worldwide, the United Nations International Labor Organization estimates. Among them, about a million children work in the mining industry. Hundreds of maybe even thousands of them live in the Philippines.

Recently, the Center for Investigative Reporting, in collaboration with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, published an article about this scourge through the site Philly.com. The piece started by telling the story of a young miner:

Romnick Bocejo picked up his blowtorch and blasted a small lump of mercury and gold. A cloud of toxic fumes rose around his head as the heat vaporized the mercury. He covered his mouth and nose with his T-shirt, and kept working.

At 16, Bocejo has worked half his life in the meager family business: looking for gold in the remote mining region of Camarines Norte, about 200 miles southeast of Manila.

One of his jobs is to burn the mercury, and on this occasion, he produced a button-size lump of nearly pure gold. He is uncertain whether to believe the smoke is dangerous.

….Read more

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