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Comstock Begins Gold and Mercury Extraction While Ensuring Ecosystem Restoration

Comstock Mining Inc. and Mercury Clean Up LLC (MCU) report that Clean Mercury Remediation Technologies — MCU’s Philippine Inc.’s joint venture — has obtained a permit to commence complete operations in the venture’s first commercial mercury remediation system located in the Davao D’ Oro province, Philippines.

Comstock Begins Gold and Mercury Extraction While Ensuring Ecosystem Restoration.

Image Credit: Victor Moussa

We are pleased to restart and initiate sales as we remediate mercury contamination and return the local environment back to its natural state.

Corrado De Gasperis, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Comstock Mining Inc.

Artisanal and Small Scale Gold Mining (ASGM)

ASGM that relies on mercury uses a process called amalgamation to dissolve gold from natural deposits. Then, the amalgam is essentially separated by hand and then subjected to heat to distill the mercury and isolate the gold.

The challenge here is the hazardous nature of mercury to human health and the environment. The ASGM residual waste contaminates water and soil and bioaccumulates into the food chains. The harm to children is also considerable. The resulting mercury emission from ASGM leads to both mental and physical disabilities and compromised development.

Many countries have done away with the amalgamation process, yet over 20 million people in more than 70 nations use mercury to mine for gold. This makes mercury pollution a U.N. prioritized global issue as part of the Minamata Convention.

Proprietary Remediation and Extraction Process

The Naboc River in Davao D’ Oro has been a channel to transport effluents of mining activities, where hundreds of historical mining operations occur without enough tailing ponds to restrict the emission of toxic, mercury-laden discharges.

This event is evidenced by high levels of mercury and other contaminants in the local ecosystem, as reported by the Philippines Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

MCU’s Davao D’Oro facility has been engineered such that it reverses the contamination from the entire local ecosystem. This would restore a 24 km long stretch of Naboc River and all its downstream irrigation systems. This ensures water for safe use while simultaneously extracting and selling residual gold and cleaned sand, soil, and gravel co-products for several high-margin revenue streams.

The Davao D’Oro facility is expected to produce pre-tax operating income, depending on yields. Our deployment plans for MCU involve sustained growth through continued expansion with many additional facilities after moving into positive cash flows with the Davao D’Oro facility over the next few months.

Corrado De Gasperis, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Comstock Mining Inc.


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