Hundreds Of Nigerian Children Poisoned By Gold Mining Operations

Over the last six months, over 400 children under the age of 5 have died as a result of environmental contamination caused by gold extraction in northern Nigeria.

Mercury, which is commonly used in the gold extraction processes, can pollute the air, water, and soil if not properly monitored, and affects the nervous and digestive systems when inhaled.

At one former mine processing site in the village of Bagega, with some 8,000 inhabitants, air mercury levels were registered, a hundred times the maximum recommended (

Since the beginning of the year, Doctors Without Borders workers have noticed a spike in the number of lead-related illnesses and deaths in several villages of the Zamfara state where toxic run-off from illegal gold mining has entered the soil and water supply (TerraDaily).

Locals, including women and children, are regularly recruited to participate in the poorly regulated processing of lead-rich ore to extract the gold.

Because these operation are often so close to their homes, workers sometimes attempt to illegally extract gold from he lead-contaminated soils in and around their houses and compounds. This directly exposes children and infants to the harmful substance which does irreparable damage to their neurological systems.

A UN-WHO report that’s due to be published later this month claims that the list of polluted villages is stilll growing, with signs of recontamination evident in some villages that have already been been cleaned up by US-based environmental firms.

Despite the shocking results of the UN’s fact finding mission, it’s rumored that the report will recommend that mining operations be banned, but simply that “safer practices” should be enacted to protect nearby villages.

Sign The Petition!

Tell The UN To End Dirty Gold Mining In Nigeria

Like this story? Connect with Beth on Twitter or StumbleUpon!

Image Credit:


Franking Machines
Past Member 5 years ago

Inconceivable points. Sound arguments. Keep going the truly amazing work.
gold roth ira plans

Shelly Peterson
Shelly Peterson8 years ago

Please put this petition, back into the spotlight! Thankyou!

jane richmond
jane richmond8 years ago


Manuela C.
Manuela C8 years ago


Pamela Adele D.
Pamela Welsh8 years ago

Corporate greed, not a care in the world!!.

Josh Townsend
Josh Townsend8 years ago

Sad news :( Thanks Beth.

Anja N.
Justin R8 years ago

Are not the rich hoarding Gold right now????

I recommend that activists in this area get busy: Create your open cards paste on pictures of the little corpses and send them to the homes and offices of hoarders, bankers, middlemen and stock brokers.

Reka B.
reka b8 years ago


KaL Ninesevensix
KaL Ninesevensix8 years ago

Don't buy the products they mine.
No demand. No supply.

Kay L.
KayL NOFORWARDS8 years ago

What is the economy like around these villages? Are there other, safer jobs to be had, or is this the only work they can get? People do not normally choose to live in such dire circumstances. It's usually because it's the only way they can earn a living....