The Kyrgyz Republic operates, in the town of Khaidarkan, the last primary mercury mine known to export mercury to the global market-place. It represents approximately 10% of the global mercury market. Generating new primary mercury is considered by the international community as the least preferred source of mercury supply, and action to assist the Kyrgyz Republic to transition away from primary mining has been recognized as a priority.
The goal of this project is to assist the Kyrgyz Republic to transition to more sustainable economic activities over the long term, in light of the future Minamata Convention on Mercury. Ultimately, limiting mercury supply globally will encourage the transition to alternative technologies in areas where mercury is still used.
The project aims to initially support transition actions in three thematic areas identified as:
1) Reduction of most immediate threats posed by the mine site to the environment and the local population;
2) Promotion of investment in other industrial activities in the region; and
3) Promotion of local alternative employment in the region.
The Global Environment Facility and the Government of Norway continue to support the activities undertaken by the Kyrgyz Republic. The results of these activities are expected in 2013-2016.
The Inception Workshop was held in Bishkek in 13-14 December 2012. The meeting report and the presentation made by UNEP are available here:
- Meeting report English Russian
- UNEP presentation English
However, further support will be required to assist the Kyrgyz Republic in any future mine transition process. Project partners consider this project remains well-regarded amongst the authorities at all levels in the Krygyz Republic and that it is important to maintain ongoing momentum to address the challenges facing the country.
1. Reduction of Threats to the Environment
(1) A Synopsis: Remediation Planning (2009) English
(2) Technical Assessment (2009) English Russian
2. Alternatives to Mercury Mining
(1) Feasibility Study Development of gold and other mineral deposits near Khaidarkan (2012) English Russian
(2) Economic Benefits and Infrastructure Assessment: Review of local development opportunities and capacities in environmental remediation in the Khaidarkan area, Kyrgyzstan (2009) English Russian
3. Support to local community
(1) Promoting alternative job opportunities in Khaidarkan in partnership with UNDP
- Summary of activities (2011) English Russian
- Report on Phase I (2010) English
- Small Capital Grants Facility Manual (2009) English
- Participatory Rural Appraisal Report (2009) English
4. Other Related Documents
(1) Socio-Economic Assessment and appendices (2009) - In partnership with UNITAR
English: document appendices Russian: document appendices
(2) Kyrgyzstan Action Plan (2009) - In partnership with UNITAR
(3)United Nations Statement - Kyrgyzstan Primary Mercury Mine, delivered at the Kyrgyzstan National Forum on 6 July 2009, by the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Kyrgyz Republic, Mr. Neal Walker English Russian