Colombia’s Congress on Tuesday passed a bill that bans the use of quicksilver in the country’s industrial and mining sector.
The ban on quicksilver in industrial and mining projects was approved unanimously by the Senate. The ban aims to protect the country’s environment and health of miners from the potential risk of the chemical element.
The new law, “prohibits the use of mercury in the Colombian mining field, but not its import, as it is used in medicine, and this ban will apply when President [Juan Manuel] Santos endorse it,” Liberal Party member Simon Gaviria was quoted as saying by Colombian weekly magazine Semana.
According to the congressman, the president is expected to sign off on the bill later this week.
Gaviria, one of the drafters of the proposal said that the use of quicksilver is a primitive practice, which for environmental reasons should be banned.
The liberal politician said that Colombia has to become more responsible and follow more environmentally friendly practices.
Although this ban is described as important for the environment, it will be given ten years to take effect in industrial projects and five years in the mining sector.
- Aprobada prohibición del uso de mercurio en actividades industriales y mineras (Colombian Congress)
- No más mercurio en minería colombiana (Semana)