Before all the lockdowns and flight restrictions in Latin America, we went to the Guiana Shield region and worked on the following project:
In this investigation, we dive into the underworld of mercury. The mercury trade remains in the shadows of the gold industry, but few people know that mercury itself represents a multi-million dollar business.Mercury is one of the driving forces behind small-scale gold mining in the Amazon.
The liquid metal is considered essential to extract gold, but mercury pollutes fragile ecosystems and is one of the top 10 chemicals that pose a major threat to public health, according to the World Health Organisation.
To understand the underworld of mercury, we traveled to the jungles of the Amazon with an international team of journalists. We met with experts, traders, traffickers, and miners – chasing the quicksilver from trade hubs in seaside towns, along the trafficking routes through the borderlands, and into the secluded mines in the dense rainforest.