Lashbrook, a leading manufacturer of custom-designed wedding rings using uncustomary materials, is furthering Mercury Free Mining (MFM)’s mission to eradicate the use of mercury in artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) by committing to MFM as its 2020/2021 Premier Sponsor.
Lashbrook’s significant contribution will help Mercury Free Mining in its efforts to:
- discover effective technologies for the safe, mercury-free extraction of gold,
- connect ASGM miners with these innovative processes so they can protect themselves from mercury poisoning in the future and,
- ensure artisanal miners can be more profitable in the process
“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 & Executive Director. “Industry support like that of Lashbrook is critical to advancing our mission and will help in immeasurable ways.”
MFM Board Chair, Bill Boyajian added, “Eric Laker, Lashbrook’s owner, has taken a leading position in helping to eradicate the use of toxic mercury in artisanal mining with his $50,000 pledge of support. Eric and his Lashbrook team have also become the leading advocates in protecting our precious jewelry industry from the potential backlash that can develop if we were to be confronted with a similar challenge in the gold and manufacturing sector as we were with the ‘Blood Diamond’ scare of the early 2000s.”
20 percent of the world’s gold supply is mined by 15 to 20 million small, informal miners who use toxic mercury to capture gold as they simply don’t have the means to organize and mechanize otherwise. Mining in order to survive, subsistence miners inadvertently release 12,000 pounds of the potent, permanent neurotoxin into the environment every day, potentially causing irreversible damage to developing nervous systems.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO):
- Exposure to mercury – even small amounts – may cause serious health problems and is a threat to the development of the child in utero and early in life.
- Mercury may have toxic effects on the nervous, digestive, and immune systems, and on lungs, kidneys, skin, and eyes.
- Mercury is considered by WHO as one of the top ten chemicals or groups of chemicals of major public health concern.
“We can truly make a positive impact on the livelihoods and well-being of others in our supply chain by contributing to Mercury Free Mining’s efforts to ensure that ASGM miners can extract gold without poisoning themselves, their families, and the world,” said Eric Laker. “We hope our example will prove as a guide for others to follow as we have an incredible opportunity to both improve the health of millions of people and the global environment while also protecting the reputation of our collective businesses, today and into the future.”