Kalla urges to develop mercury-free mine processing technology

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Vice President Jusuf Kalla has encouraged the Research, Technology, and Higher Education Ministry to develop mercury-free mine processing technology by involving the local universities.

The ministrys Director General for Innovation Jumain Appe stated here on Monday that currently, Maluku Province, in cooperation with Pattimura University, has developed the technology.

"Two years ago, he (Vice President Kalla) had urged me to develop non-mercury gold mining technology. Small-scale mining activities have been blamed for degrading the environment, as they use mercury," Appe stated after a meeting with the vice president.

The technology, developed in cooperation with Pattimura University, has been applied in Buru Island and could produce some four tons of gold per day.

"That would be sufficient for small-scale mining. We hope that it would be developed further to help small miners. Currently, 95 percent of the mining sector is operated by big companies," he pointed out.

Meanwhile, Rector of Pattimura University Marthinus Johanes Saptenno stated that the vice president had also called on universities to help boost the local economy.

Pattimura University, as the only state-run campus in Maluku, is expected to actively support economic growth in the province.

"He (the vice president) has called on us to revive Malukus potential commodities, such as clove and nutmeg," Marthinus added.

Source: ANTARA News

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