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– ASSESSMENT REPORT –

EXCESS MERCURY SUPPLY IN E ASTERN EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA, 2010-2050

Haidarkan mercury mine smelter stack and slag waste – Kyrgyz Republic Arendal

FINAL DRAFT APRIL 2010

UNEP CHEMICALS

Photo courtesy of UNEP/GRID-


This paper has been researched and prepared by Peter Maxson, Director, Concorde East/West Sprl, under contract to UNEP Chemicals, with all reasonable care and diligence. While the author has greatly benefited from valuable contributions and comments from a number of colleagues, he accepts complete responsibility for the accuracy of the final product. Nevertheless, third parties who rely on information contained in this document, or their own interpretation thereof, do so at their own risk.


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Assessment report: Excess mercury supply in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, 2010-2050 Executive summary The UNEP Governing Council decision GC 24/3 IV identified seven priority areas for action to reduce the risks from releases of mercury, two of which are:  

To reduce the global mercury supply, including considering curbing primary mining and taking into account a hierarchy of sources; and To find environmentally sound storage solutions for mercury.

More recently, the UNEP Governing Council decision GC 25/5 (paragraph 34) mandated member governments to take further international measures including the elaboration of a legally binding instrument on mercury, which could include both binding and voluntary approaches, as well as a range of interim activities, to reduce risks to human health and the environment. In the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region, the continued mining of mercury, the occasional decommissioning of chlor-alkali facilities, the recovery of mercury from used products and wastes, and the increasing use of mercury-free alternatives to mercury products contribute to a dynamic flux between mercury supply and demand in the region. In addition, the intentional restriction of mercury supplies is increasingly being viewed as a valuable policy tool with which to help reduce the demand for mercury in sectors where there are viable mercury-free alternatives. Where it is not needed for socially acceptable applications, mercury must be managed properly and stored, thereby preventing its re-entry into the global market. Identifying environmentally sound storage solutions for mercury is therefore recognized as a necessary precursor to dealing with a possible future surplus.1 Options for safely sequestering excess mercury should therefore be discussed, since elemental mercury, apart from being toxic, cannot be destroyed or degraded. Government authorities and other stakeholders can work together to develop a plan to manage any excess mercury over the long term in order to avoid its re-entry into the global marketplace. This includes consideration of possible storage capacity or disposal sites, discussing regional coordination activities, securing financial and technical support as necessary, identifying technical criteria (including site assessments) that constitute environmentally sound long-term storage/disposal, and possibly developing the basic 1

Throughout this report, the terms “storage” and “long-term management” are used interchangeably, and refer to long-term sequestration of the mercury from the global marketplace. The terms are not intended to suggest how the mercury would be sequestered, or the type of facility or facilities where such sequestration would occur.


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design of a storage/disposal facility or facilities. As a first step in the planning process, this report investigates the quantities of mercury that may be considered as a regional excess, and considers when appropriate measures should be taken to manage them. This analysis confirms that the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region imports and exports significant quantities of mercury. The vast majority of mercury consumed in the region is used in mercury-containing products and the chlor-alkali industry. This analysis observes that future sources of mercury in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region will include mainly mercury mined in the Kyrgyz Republic, mercury potentially recovered as a by-product of other mining operations and natural gas production, mercury potentially recovered from contaminated sites, and mercury recovered from the closure/conversion of mercury cell chlor-alkali plants. Such regional sources of mercury are compared in this analysis with the regional consumption mentioned above in order to better understand the mercury supply and demand equilibrium in the region. Accordingly, this report presents a framework for better understanding future mercury supply and demand within Eastern Europe and Central Asia – a framework necessary to inform any discussions about possibly managing and storing mercury in the region. According to the Maximum Mercury Supply Scenario assessed in this report, the mercury supply in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, even excluding the supply coming from the Kyrgyz Republic mercury mine, may exceed demand already in the next 1-3 years, which implies an urgent need for mercury storage capacity – or at least for serious reflection on the potential need. This scenario assumes not only that the treatment of mercury wastes will be enhanced, but also that stricter requirements will be imposed on industrial mining and smelting that will lead to the recovery of additional byproduct mercury. The urgency of an Eastern Europe and Central Asia mercury storage capability will depend on the rate of chlor-alkali decommissioning, the extent to which countries in the region may encourage further reductions in mercury demand through supply restrictions, and the extent to which individual countries may have existing facilities for mercury storage. The two main scenarios assessed show that the quantity of mercury that may need to be stored in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region between 2015 and 2050 is most likely in the range of 2,000 to 10,000 tonnes, depending on a variety of factors such as those mentioned above. These scenarios do not reflect the possible adoption of an immediate or near-term regional strategy of sequestering mercury as a way of encouraging reduced mercury demand. Either way, regional authorities need to begin planning immediately in order to adequately manage their imminent supply of excess mercury.


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Contents 1

BACKGROUND ................................................................................................................................................. 1 1.1 1.2 1.3

2

AIMS ................................................................................................................................................................. 1 CONTEXT .......................................................................................................................................................... 1 SCOPE ............................................................................................................................................................... 2

THE EASTERN EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA REGION ....................................................................... 3 2.1 DEFINITION AND DEMOGRAPHICS ..................................................................................................................... 3 2.2 KEY INFORMATION SOURCES ............................................................................................................................ 5 2.2.1 Kiev workshop 2004 ............................................................................................................................... 5 2.2.2 Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme 2005 ............................................................................ 5 2.2.3 ICST work on mercury contamination and remediation ......................................................................... 6 2.2.4 Eco-Accord survey of cadmium, lead and mercury in Russia and Ukraine ........................................... 6

3

METHODOLOGY ............................................................................................................................................. 6

4

REGIONAL MERCURY CONSUMPTION FOR PRODUCTS/PROCESSES ........................................... 7 4.1 MERCURY CONSUMPTION IN THE EECA REGION .............................................................................................. 7 4.1.1 Background with regard to the situation in the former USSR ................................................................ 7 4.1.2 Artisanal and small-scale gold mining ................................................................................................... 9 4.1.3 VCM production ................................................................................................................................... 10 4.1.4 Chlor-alkali production ........................................................................................................................ 10 4.1.5 Batteries ................................................................................................................................................ 12 4.1.6 Dental applications............................................................................................................................... 13 4.1.7 Measuring and control devices ............................................................................................................. 14 4.1.8 Lamps ................................................................................................................................................... 14 4.1.9 Electrical and electronic equipment ..................................................................................................... 15 4.1.10 Other applications of mercury ......................................................................................................... 15 4.1.11 Summary of mercury consumption in EECA .................................................................................... 15 4.2 FUTURE MERCURY CONSUMPTION IN EASTERN EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA ................................................. 16 4.2.1 Global trends ........................................................................................................................................ 16 4.2.2 Eastern Europe and Central Asia trends .............................................................................................. 17

5

REGIONAL SOURCES OF METALLIC MERCURY ................................................................................ 18 5.1 MAJOR EASTERN EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA SOURCES OF MERCURY SUPPLY ............................................. 18 5.1.1 Mercury mining .................................................................................................................................... 18 5.1.2 Mercury cell chlor-alkali facilities ....................................................................................................... 21 5.1.3 By-product mercury .............................................................................................................................. 22 5.1.4 Recycling .............................................................................................................................................. 26 5.1.5 Contaminated sites ............................................................................................................................... 29 5.1.6 Mercury stocks ...................................................................................................................................... 33 5.2 FUTURE EASTERN EUROPEAN AND CENTRAL ASIAN MERCURY SUPPLY ......................................................... 33

6

EXCESS MERCURY IN EASTERN EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA .................................................... 36 6.1 6.2

EECA MERCURY SUPPLY VS. CONSUMPTION .................................................................................................. 36 KEY OBSERVATION REGARDING THE SCENARIOS ............................................................................................ 37

7

OBSERVATIONS AND CONCLUSIONS ..................................................................................................... 38

8

REFERENCES.................................................................................................................................................. 39

APPENDIX – MAJOR MERCURY CONTAMINATED SITES IN EECA (INCOMPLETE LISTING) ......... 41


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Tables Table 1 Table 2 Table 3 Table 4 Table 5 Table 6 Table 7 Table 8 Table 9 Table 10 Table 11 Table 12 Table 13 Table 14 Table 15 Table 16 Table 17 Table 18

Eastern Europe and Central Asia population and economic activity (2005) .............................................. 3 Main mercury applications in products and processes ............................................................................... 8 ASGM mercury consumption (tonnes) in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region ............................. 9 VCM facilities using a mercuric chloride catalyst in the EECA region .................................................... 10 Chlor-alkali facilities using the mercury cell process in the EECA region ............................................... 11 Mercuric oxide batteries consumed in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region ............................... 13 Mercury consumption in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (tonnes, 2005) .............................................. 16 Basic assumptions regarding future EECA mercury consumption (base year 2005) ................................ 17 Proven industrial resources of mercury in EECA countries ..................................................................... 19 Mercury mine production (metric tonnes) in Kyrgyz Republic, 2000-2007 .............................................. 20 Mercury from decommissioned chlor-alkali plants in Eastern Europe and Central Asia ......................... 22 Atmospheric emission factors for smelter emissions of mercury* ............................................................. 23 Large EECA primary zinc smelters ........................................................................................................... 23 Mercury measured at different Russian gas fields .................................................................................... 25 EECA recent natural gas production ........................................................................................................ 25 Basic assumptions regarding EECA mercury recycling 2010-2050 (tonnes) ........................................... 28 Russian sites storing obsolete mercury-containing pesticides................................................................... 30 Eastern Europe and Central Asia “sources” of elemental mercury (tonnes) ........................................... 34

Figures Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 6 Figure 7 Figure 8 Figure 9 Figure 10

Map of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region .................................................................................. 4 Projected EECA mercury consumption, 2010-2050 .................................................................................. 18 Khaidarkan mercury production (tonnes), 1941-2007 .............................................................................. 20 Pavlodar (PO “Khimprom”) chlor-alkali plant, decommissioned in 1993............................................... 22 Acetaldehyde factory (PO “Karbid”), Temirtau City, Nura River, decommissioned 1997 ...................... 31 Drops of metallic mercury visible in the soil around the Temirtau acetaldehyde site .............................. 32 EECA Minimum Mercury Supply Scenario, 2010-2050 ............................................................................ 35 EECA Maximum Mercury Supply Scenario, 2010-2050 ........................................................................... 35 EECA Hg supply vs. consumption, 2010-2050 – Minimum Mercury Supply Scenario ............................. 36 EECA Hg supply vs. consumption, 2010-2050 – Maximum Mercury Supply Scenario ........................ 37


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Assessment report: Excess mercury supply in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, 2010-2050

1 Background 1.1 Aims The overall aim of this analysis is to provide a better understanding of future mercury supply and demand within Eastern Europe and Central Asia – a framework necessary to inform discussions about managing any excess mercury that may arise in the region. In other words, regional mercury supply and demand needs to be better understood before subsequent steps are taken. Once basic estimates of any regional excess mercury flows have been generated, governments, regional development organisations, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) can use this information as a basis for taking the next steps toward managing the excess mercury, which may include considering possible storage capacity or disposal sites, discussing regional coordination activities, securing financial and technical support as necessary, identifying technical criteria (including site assessments) that constitute environmentally sound long-term storage/disposal, and possibly developing the basic design of a storage/disposal facility or facilities. As a first step, this assessment will estimate any excess mercury from identified sources in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region over the next 40 years.

1.2 Context The UNEP Governing Council decision GC 24/3 IV identified seven priority areas for action to reduce the risks from releases of mercury, two of which are:  To reduce the global mercury supply, including considering curbing primary mining and taking into account a hierarchy of sources; and  To find environmentally sound storage solutions for mercury. More recently, the UNEP Governing Council decision GC 25/5 (paragraph 34) mandated member governments to take further international measures including the elaboration of a legally binding instrument on mercury, which could include both binding and voluntary approaches, as well as a range of interim activities, to reduce risks to human health and the environment. In the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region, the continued mining of mercury, the occasional decommissioning of chlor-alkali facilities, the recovery of mercury from used products and wastes, and the increasing use of mercury-free alternatives to mercury products contribute to a dynamic flux between mercury supply and demand in the region. Meanwhile, the increasing use of alternatives to replace mercury-added products results in decreased regional demand for mercury. These two market forces contribute to a dynamic flux between mercury supply and demand in the region.


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The reduction of mercury supplies, and long term management of mercury, have both been identified as priorities of the UNEP Governing Council. Moreover, the management of mercury supplies is now seen as a valuable policy tool with which to help reduce the demand for mercury in sectors where there are viable mercury-free alternatives. If not needed for acceptable applications, mercury must be managed properly and stored, thereby preventing its re-entry to the global market. Identifying environmentally sound storage solutions for mercury is therefore recognized as a priority. Storage facilities or repositories are already being planned by other regions to isolate the mercury indefinitely to avoid it leaking into the environment. Since we know that elemental mercury, apart from being toxic, cannot be destroyed or degraded, governments and other stakeholders need to understand how to manage this mercury over the long term in order to avoid its re-entry into the global marketplace. Present information suggests that there is probably excess mercury generated in Eastern Europe and Central Asia as a result of mercury mined in the Kyrgyz Republic, mercury potentially recovered as a by-product of other mining operations or natural gas production, mercury potentially recovered from contaminated sites, and mercury recovered from the closure/conversion of mercury cell chlor-alkali plants. Therefore, mercury flows need to be better understood in order to identify the best way forward.

1.3 Scope This investigation into the feasibility of Eastern Europe and Central Asia regional capacity for the terminal storage of excess mercury has been structured in two initial phases. The first phase would assess the quantities of mercury that may need to be stored. Should such quantities be significant, the second phase would focus on the location, design, financing and other practical requirements of an appropriate storage facility. This assessment addresses Phase I, and includes an analysis of the quantities of mercury arising over the next 40 years in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region as a by-product of mining operations, from the closure/conversion of mercury cell chloralkali plants, from end-of-life products, etc. The regional sources of mercury are then compared with regional uses over the same time period to have a better idea of the impact of mercury storage on the mercury market, and to estimate quantities of mercury that may need to be stored in the region.


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2 The Eastern Europe and Central Asia region 2.1 Definition and demographics In order to fully assess mercury sources and consumption in the region, it is necessary to first identify the countries that will be included in this analysis. While the Eastern Europe and Central Asia countries may be defined in various ways, this analysis excludes all countries that are members of the EU-27, and includes most of the other countries of the region, especially those that are, or have been, significant producers or consumers of mercury. The included countries are listed in Table 1. The total population of the region under study amounted to some 366 million persons in 2005, as shown in Table 1. Table 1

Eastern Europe and Central Asia population and economic activity (2005)

Country

Albania Armenia Azerbaijan Belarus Bosnia Herzegovina Croatia Georgia Kazakhstan Kyrgyz Republic Macedonia (TFYR) Republic of Moldova Russian Federation Serbia and Montenegro Tajikistan Turkey Turkmenistan Ukraine Uzbekistan Total

Total population (million)

Urban population (% of total population)

3.2 3.0 8.4 9.8

45.4% 64.1% 51.5% 72.2%

5316 4945 5016 7918

17011 14835 42134 77596

0.028% 0.024% 0.069% 0.127%

3.9

45.7%

9146

35669

0.058%

4.6 4.5 15.2

56.5% 52.2% 57.3%

13042 3365 7857

59993 15143 119426

0.098% 0.025% 0.195%

5.2

35.8%

1927

10020

0.016%

2.0

68.9%

7200

14400

0.024%

3.9

46.7%

2100

8190

0.013%

144.0

73.0%

10845

1561680

2.555%

n.a.

n.a.

n.a. 6.6 73 4.8 46.9 26.6 365.6

n.a. 24.7% 67.3% 46.2% 67.8% 36.7% 64.3%

GDP per capita, PPP ($ int’l)*

1356 8407 3838 6848 2063 101189

National GDP, PPP (million $ int’l)*

8950 613711 18422 321171 54876 2993229

Percent of global GDP, PPP (%)*

n.a. 0.015% 1.004% 0.030% 0.525% 0.090% 4.897%

* Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is a commonly used measure of economic activity. When expressed in terms of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), which also accounts for the cost of living in each country, it provides a rough measure of relative purchasing power among different countries.

Apart from frequent references in the following assessment to individual countries, this assessment aims to treat the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region as a whole. The countries included in this assessment may be seen in the map in Figure 1.


Excess mercury supply in Eastern Europe and Central Asia – Final draft

Figure 1 Map of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region

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2.2 Key information sources Information on mercury supply and demand in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region is not very comprehensive. Nevertheless, several key sources provide a fairly sound basis for regional estimates.

2.2.1 Kiev workshop 2004 The UNEP Governing Council (GC) decided as part of GC decision 22/4 V (February 2003) that UNEP, among other things, should facilitate technical assistance and capacity building activities to support the efforts of countries in understanding the nature and magnitude of their mercury problems, and in developing tools and strategies to mitigate the problems. A regional workshop was organized in Kiev in 2004 to: 

Raise awareness of the global, regional and local nature of mercury pollution problems, and to assist countries to identify and prioritize mercury issues within their borders and within their region;

Raise awareness of the potential options to reduce exposures, uses, and releases of mercury;

Promote action, both immediate and long-term, at national, regional and global levels to protect human health and the environment from mercury releases;

Promote the exchange of information with regard to problems and solutions;

Prepare countries for discussions of further measures for addressing the significant global adverse impacts of mercury.

Participants from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan presented available information on their national situations, including such issues as sources of mercury releases to air, water and soil in the country; major uses of mercury; existing stocks; production (including primary mining and recycling of mercury); trade of mercury (including imports and exports, and the eventual uses of such traded mercury); management of mercury containing waste; levels of mercury in various media (such as air, water, soils) and biota (such as fish, and human blood, hair, and urine); human exposures to mercury and adverse effects associated with these exposures; etc. A report of the workshop was published (UNEP 2004).

2.2.2 Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme 2005 Within the framework of the Arctic Council, the eight Arctic countries agreed on taking actions to contribute to the reduction of exposures to a number of priority pollutants, including mercury, in the Arctic region. The Arctic Council issued an action plan, of which one project was to contribute to a reduction of mercury releases from the Arctic countries – partly by contributing to the development of a common regional framework for an action plan or strategy for the reduction of mercury emissions, and partly by evaluating and selecting specific point sources for implementation of specific measures to reduce releases. One key element of the project was an assessment of mercury releases from the Russian Federation that was prepared as a background document for the common regional mercury assessment.


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2.2.3 ICST work on mercury contamination and remediation The International Science & Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization created to prevent nuclear weapons proliferation and to link the demands of international markets with the exceptional pool of scientific talent available in Russian and other Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) institutes. ISTC was established in 1992 by the European Union, Japan, the Russian Federation, and the United States of America on the basis of a multinational agreement. Norway and the Republic of Korea are signatories to the agreement, and Canada joined as a full Governing Board member in 2004. ICST projects focus mainly on monitoring, risk assessment, remediation, water and air pollution and control, and radwaste issues. More than 330 institutes and companies from Russia and CIS countries are involved in these activities. The ISTC, headquartered in Moscow, organised a scientific workshop at the international conference, ICMGP 2009, which focused on two specific topics for the CIS region:  

Determination of the extent of remediation needed at mercury contaminated sites; Selection of appropriate remediation methods.

2.2.4 Eco-Accord survey of cadmium, lead and mercury in Russia and Ukraine Researched under the Program on Chemical Safety of the Eco-Accord Centre, in partnership with MAMA-86-Kharkov (a Ukrainian NGO) and Volgograd Ecopress (a Russian NGO), this document summarizes data and information collected in Russia and Ukraine on environmental contamination by heavy metals and their health impacts. The document provides information on sources and releases of cadmium, lead and mercury to the environment, etc.

3 Methodology As described in detail in the UNEP Global Mercury Assessment (UNEP 2002) and other sources, mercury is intentionally added to a great number of products such as thermometers and dental amalgams, and it is used in industrial processes such as the mercury-cell process for the production of chlorine and caustic. With regard to mercury containing products, many of these can be collected and recycled to recover the mercury. Likewise, mercury can be recovered from various process uses and wastes. These and other common sources and uses of mercury are discussed further in Sections 4 and 5 below. For the purpose of this assessment, in order to develop a better understanding of the present balance between mercury supply and demand in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region, all of the countries listed previously will be analysed together. For that regional analysis, as well as for projections of regional mercury supply and demand into the future, the following assumptions are made:    

assume there are continuing transfers of mercury among the Eastern Europe and Central Asia countries, as at present (UNEP 2006); assume there are no imports of metallic mercury into the region; assume there are no exports of metallic mercury or by-product mercury outside the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region, although continued exports of mercury-containing products would not be prevented, under this assumption; assume that the main regional supplies of mercury, other than imported mercuryadded products, are such “sources” as closing chlor-alkali facilities, by-product


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mercury recovered from mining operations, removal of mercury from the flue gases of large non-ferrous metal smelting operations, removal of mercury from natural gas cleaning facilities, recycling of mercury-added products, etc. While mined mercury is clearly a regional source, it will not be considered in calculating the regional excess, as explained in Section 6.1; assume that if and when regional policies dictate that mercury should be removed from the market, the mercury would go to terminal storage.

The scope of this assessment encompasses a 40-year time frame, specifically 20102050. Clearly, 40-year projections are subject to significant uncertainties, and it must be accepted that particular precision is neither realistic nor possible for this exercise. The main objective, to the extent possible, is to develop an order-of-magnitude estimate of the quantity of excess elemental mercury that may be generated in this region, and if applicable, a rough idea of when that excess mercury might start to be generated.

4 Regional mercury consumption for products/processes Unless otherwise noted, the main sources for this chapter are the extensive analysis of mercury product life-cycles in the US (Cain 2007); the detailed analysis of mercury applications carried out recently for the European Commission (2008); the UNEP report supporting the phase-out of mercury mining (UNEP 2008a), which presents an overview of mercury uses globally and regionally; and updated estimates of regional mercury consumption prepared as input to the UNEP “Paragraph 29 Study” (UNEP 2010) of global atmospheric mercury emissions. Some of these references define the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region in slightly different ways; however, where countryspecific data are not available, the regional estimates of mercury consumption in different product groups are not precise enough for such minor differences in definition to have a significant impact.

4.1 Mercury consumption in the EECA region The main mercury processes and groups of mercury-containing products assessed in this study are listed in Table 2. Each of these main processes and product groups is described briefly below. The base year for “current” data is assumed to be 2005. In various cases more recent data are available, but future projections of regional mercury demand are not precise enough to reflect a significant difference between using 2005 or 2007, for example, as the base year.

4.1.1 Background with regard to the situation in the former USSR In most of the 20th Century the principle use of mercury in Russia/USSR was in gold mining. Altogether about 4000 tonnes were consumed before 1945, and nearly 3000 tonnes after 1945 in this sector. In the second half of the 20th Century mercury use in the USSR, like in other parts of the world, increased drastically, especially in industrial processes such as the chemical industry. Key uses of mercury in this sector included the use of a mercury cathode in chlor-alkali production (in total about 13000 tonnes of mercury consumed up to the present), acetaldehyde production (in total about 2500 tonnes of mercury, although this process is now believed to have been phased out in the region), pesticide production (up to 200 tonnes of mercury per year in the 1960s and 1970s), other chemical production (more than 15 tonnes of mercury per year, and continuing to the present), and vinyl chloride


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monomer production (more than 15 tonnes of mercury per year, not including some recycling). Table 2

Main mercury applications in products and processes

Process or product category

Typical applications

Artisanal and small-scale gold mining

Amalgamation

Vinyl chloride monomer production

Carbide process using a mercuric chloride catalyst

Chlor-alkali production

Mercury cell process

Light sources (lamps)

Fluorescent tubes Compact fluorescent lamps HID lamps Special lamps (not integrated in electronics) Lamps in electronics (LCD backlighting, etc.)

Batteries

Mercury oxide button cells All other button cells General purpose batteries Mercury oxide batteries

Dental amalgams

Pre-measured capsules Liquid mercury used for mixing dental amalgam

Measuring devices

Medical thermometers Other mercury-in-glass thermometers Dial thermometers Manometers Barometers Sphygmomanometers Hygrometers Tensiometers Gyrocompasses Reference electrodes Hanging drop electrodes Other measuring applications

Electrical/electronic switches, relays, etc.

Tilt switches for all applications (incl. thermostats) Thermoregulators, such as flame sensors Reed switches and relays Other switches and relays

Mercury compounds

Chemical intermediate and catalyst (excl PU) Catalyst in polyurethane (PU) elastomers Laboratory uses and medical preparations Preservatives in vaccines and cosmetics Additive in paints, dyes Disinfectant Pesticide, fungicide, biocide applications

Miscellaneous applications

Porosimetry and pycnometry Conductors in seam welding machines (mainly maintenance) Mercury slip rings Maintenance of lighthouses Maintenance of bearings Skin-lightening soaps and creams Traditional medicine Cultural and religious uses Other applications

In addition to the chemical industry, mercury continues to be used in this region in the production of thermometers and other measuring devices, light sources, electrochemical applications such as batteries and other electro-technical equipment, etc. As a result, despite the tightening of mercury regulations and safety guidelines in the 1970s, and the introduction of restrictions on mercury use in industry during the latter 1980s, a considerable quantity of mercury has entered the environment. In the mid-1990s it was assumed that the industrial recession would lead to a sharp decrease in mercury entering the environment. However, as industrial enterprises were shuttered under


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conditions of economic and political crisis, large-scale mercury contamination of the environment occurred as sites were abandoned or dismantled without any control or supervision, equipment was appropriated for other uses, and wastes were buried or otherwise discarded without adequate control (ISTC 2009).

4.1.2 Artisanal and small-scale gold mining Based on the work of the UNDP Global Mercury Programme and subsequent research, at least 100 million people in up to 70 countries depend on artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) – directly or indirectly – for their livelihood.2 ASGM is responsible for an estimated 20-30% of the world’s gold production, or approximately 500-800 tonnes per annum. It directly involves an estimated 10-15 million miners, including 4.5 million women and 1 million children. This type of mining relies on rudimentary methods and technologies, and is typically performed by miners with little or no economic capital, who operate in the informal economic sector, often illegally and with little organisation. Due to the manner in which mercury is used and discarded in ASGM, this activity results in the global consumption (and subsequent release) of an estimated 650 to 1350 tonnes of mercury per annum (Telmer 2008; UNEP 2008a). The use of mercury in ASGM, a process inextricably linked to issues of poverty and serious human health risks, is not nearly as widespread in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region as in other regions of the world such as South and Central America, or East Asia. However, ASGM activities have been stimulated in recent years by the upward trend in the price of gold. Therefore, government authorities should be wary of increasing activity in this sector, particularly because virtually all of the mercury “consumed” in ASGM activities is eventually released to the air, water and soil. ASGM activity in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region has been reported in the countries listed in Table 3, although some of the sources named are more than 10 years old, and in Azerbaijan the use of mercury in ASGM is little more than anecdotal. Uncertainties may be significant: ACAP (2005) estimated Russian consumption of mercury in ASGM at about 5.5 tonnes in 2002, while Table 3 indicates 7-15 tonnes for the Russian Federation. Overall for the EECA region, mercury consumption in this sector is thought to be in the range of 15-32 tonnes annually. Table 3

ASGM mercury consumption (tonnes) in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region Minimum AGSM Hg consumption per year (t)

Maximum AGSM Hg consumption per year (t)

Mean AGSM Hg consumption per year (t)

Azerbaijan

0.05

0.50

0.30

Kazakhstan

0.05

0.50

0.30

Kyrgyz Republic

5.00

10.00

7.50

Russian Federation

7.00

15.00

11.00

Tajikistan

3.00

5.00

4.00

Uzbekistan

0.05

0.50

0.30

15

32

23

Country

Total

Sources: Kiev (2004); Telmer and Veiga (2008); http://www.mercurywatch.org/default.aspx?panename=globalDatabase

2

It should be noted that most, but not all, artisanal and small scale gold miners use mercury. Some use cyanide, which typically requires a greater up-front investment but permits more gold to be recovered than when using mercury. Some use both, which can be especially hazardous. Others use gravimetric methods without mercury or cyanide.


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4.1.3 VCM production In China the substantial and increasing use of mercuric chloride as a catalyst in the production of vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) is a major concern to those working to reduce mercury use globally. The same process was also used in the past in the EECA region, although the only remaining confirmed VCM production facilities using the mercury process are located in Russia, as seen in Table 4 (ACAP 2005). All of the other known facilities have either closed or converted to mercury-free processes. Based upon the level of mercury consumption reported for the Russian facilities (15 tonnes/year, of which perhaps 7.5 tonnes is subsequently recycled) in 2002, as presented by ACAP (2005), EECA regional mercury consumption in this sector is estimated at 15-25 tonnes annually – probably closer to the lower end of this range since most of the facilities of “unknown” status in Table 4 are likely closed. It may be expected that increasing efforts will be undertaken to reduce mercury consumption in this industry, and to further increase mercury recovery. It was observed in Russia that about half of the mercury introduced to the VCM production process is later recovered from the spent catalyst. The rest of the mercury goes mainly into the hydrochloric acid (HCl) by-product, from where mercury does not appear to be recovered as standard practice at present (ACAP, 2005). Table 4

VCM facilities using a mercuric chloride catalyst in the EECA region

Presently operating?

Approximate VCM production capacity

Kaštel Sućurac, Dalmatia/ Jugovinil

unconfirmed

~3,600 tonne

Croatia

Split, Dalmatia/ Jugovinil

unconfirmed

~10.000 tonnes

Macedonia (TFYR)

Skopje/ Naum Naumowski Borce

unconfirmed

~5,400 tonnes

Macedonia (TFYR)

Skopje/ Ork. Chem. Ind.

unconfirmed

~50,000 tonnes

Russian Federation

Volgograd City/ OJSC Plastkard

yes

~68,000 tonnes

Russian Federation

Azot, Tula oblast/ OJSC Novomoskovsk Joint Stock Company

yes

~45,000 tonnes

Russian Federation

Volgograd City/ OJSC “Khimprom

yes

~27,000 tonnes

Russian Federation

Usolye Sibirskoe city/ JSC “Usolyekhimprom”

yes

~26,000 tonnes

Turkey

Galata/ Aga Sirketi

unconfirmed

unconfirmed

Country

Site location

Croatia

4.1.4 Chlor-alkali production The chlor-alkali industry is the third largest mercury user worldwide, after ASGM and VCM. Many chemical companies have phased out this old technology and converted to the mercury-free diaphragm process or the even more energy-efficient membrane process, and there is increasing pressure on the remaining mercury cell operators to do the same. For example, two of the facilities (315 thousand tonnes per year combined


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chlorine capacity) in Russia have recently converted to the membrane process. In Europe some governments have provided financial incentives to facilitate the phase-out of mercury cell technology. Recently governments and international agencies have created partnerships with industry (for example, UNEP’s Chlor-Alkali Partnership with the World Chlorine Council and others) to encourage broader and faster industry improvements with regard to mercury management and reducing releases of mercury.3 Table 5 below lists the mercury cell chlor-alkali production facilities still operating, or possibly still operating, in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Table 5

Chlor-alkali facilities using the mercury cell process in the EECA region

Country

Site location

Presently operating?

Albania

Not identified

unconfirmed

Azerbaijan Bosnia Herzegovina Bosnia Herzegovina Bosnia Herzegovina Croatia Croatia Macedonia (TFYR) Russian Federation Russian Federation Russian Federation Serbia and Montenegro Serbia and Montenegro Serbia and Montenegro Serbia and Montenegro

Sumgait City/ PO "Khimprom" Banja Luka/ Incel (Fabrika Celuloze i Viskose) Lukavac, nr. Tuzla/ Fabrika Soda Lukavac Jajce/ Elektrobosna Elektrokemijska Industrija Krk Island/ INA Petrokemija Omisalj Kaštel Sućurac, Dalmatia/ Jugovinil Skopje Sterlitamal City, Bashkortostan/ JSC "Kaustic" Volgograd City/ JSC "Kaustic" Kirovo-Chepetsk/ JSC "Kirovo-Chepetskiy Chemical Co." Krusevac/ Kemijska Industri Zupa Ivangrad/ Fabrik Sulfur & Celuloze Pancevo/ Hemiijska Industrija Pancevo Mitrovica/ Srenska Mitrovica

yes

Comments Approx. 10,000 tonnes capacity (remains to be confirmed) 38,000 tonnes capacity. Ref. http://Hg-Pavlodar.narod.ru

unconfirmed

Approx. 37,000 tonnes capacity

unconfirmed

Approx. 37,000 tonnes capacity

unconfirmed

Approx. 12,000 tonnes capacity

unconfirmed

Approx. 30,000 tonnes capacity

unconfirmed

Approx. 15,000 tonnes capacity

unconfirmed

Approx. 10,000 tonnes capacity (remains to be confirmed)

yes

136,000 tonnes capacity. Ref. http://Hg-Pavlodar.narod.ru

yes

109,000 tonnes capacity. Ref. http://Hg-Pavlodar.narod.ru

yes

182,000 tonnes capacity. Ref. http://Hg-Pavlodar.narod.ru

unconfirmed

Approx. 8,000 tonnes capacity

unconfirmed

5,000-15,000 tonnes capacity

unconfirmed

Approx. 115,000 tonnes capacity

unconfirmed

Approx. 9,000 tonnes capacity

Sources: UNEP 2006; WCC 2007; SRIC 2005

3

For example, during a recent teleconference of the UNEP Global Mercury Partnership Chlor-alkali Area, it was reported: “Ella Barnes gave an update on joint EPA projects with the Russian chlor-alkali industry. These projects have achieved significant success in reducing mercury releases in wastewater, installing new equipment which will reduce releases, and improving mercury monitoring systems. She also discussed plans to conduct an international conference on hazardous waste reduction, including mercury waste from chlor-alkali plants. Dates for the conference have not yet been set.” (USEPA 2010)


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The most recent and detailed discussion of mercury consumption4 by chlor-alkali facilities worldwide was presented in UNEP (2006). According to that report, even considering that over 70% of mercury cell chlor-alkali capacity is based in the U.S. and Europe, which are reputed to have the lowest mercury emissions per unit capacity in the world, the global average mercury consumption is on the order of 45-55 g of mercury per tonne of chlorine capacity. With regard to chlor-alkali facilities in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the most detailed information was published by ACAP (2005) for the sites in Russia, which consumed over 100 tonnes of mercury in 2002 in chlor-alkali facilities with a combined production capacity of 563 thousand tonnes of chlorine. That is equivalent to over 170 g mercury consumption per tonne of chlorine capacity, and is believed to be typical of other facilities in the region. While various efforts have been made since then to reduce mercury consumption and releases from chlor-alkali facilities, especially in Russia, there is still reason to believe that regional mercury consumption is still in the range of 80-100 g mercury per tonne of chlorine capacity. Assuming a few of the “unknown” facilities in Table 5 continue to operate, annual mercury consumption for the region is likely in the range of 50-70 tonnes, while the total mercury inventory in the cellrooms of these facilities amounts to some 1000-1500 tonnes.

4.1.5 Batteries The regional consumption of mercury in batteries, while still significant, continues to decline as many nations have implemented policies to deal with the problems related to diffuse mercury releases related to batteries. However, there remain a great number of button cell batteries (other than mercuric oxide types, discussed below) manufactured in different countries. Some types and/or production processes continue to use 1-2% mercury, and a few even more. These will eventually be phased out and replaced by mercury-free button cells,5 but at present these batteries, produced by the tens of billions, consume significant amounts of mercury. Furthermore, the apparently ongoing global trade in mercuric oxide batteries (some button cells and some larger), which comprise 30-40% mercury by weight, has not been satisfactorily explained (see discussion in UNEP 2006). In 2007, for example, Italy exported 28.5 tonnes of mercuric oxide batteries to Turkey, according to Comtrade data (Harmonized Tariff System (HTS 1996) code 850630), and in 2008 the United Arab Emirates exported 8 tonnes of mercuric oxide batteries to Ukraine, while Armenia and Albania each imported more than 3 tonnes of these batteries. Other countries have also reported trade in these batteries, which are banned by many countries from commercial marketing and use – but not necessarily banned from military applications. An overview of mercuric oxide batteries imported into the Eastern European and Central Asia region is given in Table 6 below. For comparative purposes, the top part of the table shows imports as reported by the EECA countries, while the bottom of the table shows exports to the EECA countries as reported by other countries. While there are 4

5

The convention here is to calculate mercury “consumption” before any recycling of wastes. Some of the waste at some facilities may be recycled in order to recover the mercury, although most mercury waste is sent for disposal. For example, the National Electrical Manufacturers’ Association (NEMA) in the USA has called for a phase-out of all mercury in button cell batteries in the USA by 2011. In October 2008, one of the major battery manufacturers announced the launch of new zero-mercury "hearing aid" batteries – the first of their kind in the world.


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significant differences in the numbers for specific years, over the five-year period the total trades are quite similar. It is evident from the Comtrade database that very few (i.e., less than 5 percent) of these trades are subsequently re-exported either within or outside the region. Therefore, one may conclude that these trades reasonably reflect regional consumption – to the extent that the reporting is complete. Table 6

Mercuric oxide batteries consumed in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region

Imports (kg) reported to Comtrade (accessed 22 March 2010) Reporting country Albania Armenia Azerbaijan Belarus Bosnia Herzegovina Croatia Georgia Kazakhstan Kyrgyz Republic Macedonia (TFYR) Republic of Moldova Russian Federation Serbia and Montenegro Tajikistan Turkey Turkmenistan Ukraine Uzbekistan Total

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

Comments

2690 94 n.a. 10 2 n.a. 162 44 n.a. 1 n.a. 12 n.a. n.a. 10272 3 111 18 13419

3810 n.a. n.a. 48 290 11 3 49 2360 n.a. 2 26 n.a. n.a. 27 n.a. 194 191 7011

2217 29 25540 130 61 19212 13 143 n.a. 0 8100 6 n.a. n.a. 2601 n.a. 57 9 58118

2000 160 7505 583 39 1125 2 112 n.a. 58 n.a. 8 n.a. n.a. n.a. 9 160 15 11776

3127 3012 10 351 2 15 n.a. 10 n.a. 115 n.a. 1 n.a. n.a. 870 475 121 90 8199

2007 estimated

2008 estimated

as reported by exporters as reported by exporters

Exports (kg) to Eastern European and Central Asian countries, as reported to Comtrade (accessed 22 March 2010) Total

13808

31907

12235

34650

11315

Including some minor estimates in cases where quantities not provided

This analysis does not require any further precision with regard to the quantities and mercury content of batteries used in the region; nevertheless, the global consumption of mercury in batteries still appears to number in the hundreds of metric tonnes annually. Combining the mercury in button cells with ongoing use of mercuric oxide batteries, the Eastern Europe and Central Asia regional consumption of mercury in batteries has been estimated (UNEP 2008a; UNEP 2010) at 10-20 tonnes in 2005.

4.1.6 Dental applications In some countries of the world, and especially among higher income segments of the population, the use of mercury in dental amalgams is now declining – in some cases due to health concerns, but in most cases for aesthetic reasons. The main alternatives are composites (most common), glass ionomers and compomers (modified composites). However, the speed of decline varies widely, so that dental amalgam use is still significant in most countries, while in some countries (e.g., Sweden, Norway, Japan) it has almost ceased. At the same time, in some lower-income countries the combination


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of changing diets and better access to dental care have actually led to an increase in dental mercury use. Unusually, some of the countries of the former Soviet Union (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, etc.) banned the use of mercury in dental applications many years ago (personal communication with Nordiska Dental AB, 2008). As a result, although the ban is no longer in place, the use of dental mercury is still not as common in some parts of the region as in other parts. Lacking specific trade data, and based on regional estimates provided by manufacturers and exporters, the Eastern Europe and Central Asia regional consumption of mercury for dental use has been estimated at 10-15 tonnes for 2005 (UNEP 2008a; UNEP 2010).

4.1.7 Measuring and control devices There is a variety of mercury-added measuring and control devices, including thermometers, barometers, manometers, etc., on the market, although thermometers and sphygmomanometers dominate with regard to total quantity of mercury used globally. As market demand has increased for mercury-free alternatives, most international suppliers now offer mercury-free products as well. Since mercury-free alternatives are available for virtually all measuring and control applications, national and regional legislation is increasingly being used as an instrument to promote the shift away from mercury devices. The global NGO, Health Care Without Harm, has been especially active, recently in collaboration with the World Health Organization, in working with the healthcare sector to phase out mercury-added devices in various countries. In Russia, during the period 1998 - 2002, one analysis calculated that up to 9 million mercury thermometers were damaged (broken, destroyed, etc.) annually, containing an estimated 18 tonnes of metal mercury (Eco-Accord 2008). Thermometers and sphygmomanometers are considered to represent around 80% of total mercury consumption in the product category of “measuring and control devices.” While specific trade data for mercury containing devices is not available, for the sector as a whole, Eastern Europe and Central Asia regional demand has been estimated at 25-30 tonnes for 2005 (UNEP 2008a; UNEP 2010).

4.1.8 Lamps Mercury-added lamps (fluorescent tubes, compact fluorescent, high-intensity discharge – HID, etc.) remain the standard for energy-efficient lamps, where ongoing industry efforts to reduce the amount of mercury in each lamp are countered, to some extent, by the ever-increasing number of energy-efficient lamps purchased and installed around the world. There is no doubt that mercury-free alternatives such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs) will gradually offer improved performance and become increasingly affordable. Nevertheless, at present, for most lighting applications the energy-efficient alternatives to mercury lamps are very limited and/or quite expensive. In addition to lamps used for normal lighting applications, a great number of fluorescent lamps are also used for backlighting of liquid crystal displays (LCDs) of all sizes – from electronic control panels to computer and television monitors. While these too are gradually being replaced by LEDs, this is another area of significant mercury use. While specific trade data for mercury containing lamps is not comprehensive, considering the complete range of lighting applications, mercury consumption in this product category for the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region has been estimated at 8-10 tonnes for 2005 (UNEP 2008a; UNEP 2010).


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4.1.9 Electrical and electronic equipment Following the implementation of the European Union’s Restriction on Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive, and similar initiatives in Japan, China and Korea, among others, there has been a marked shift to mercury-free substitutes for mercury switches, relays, etc., and overall mercury consumption for these applications appears to have declined in Eastern Europe and Central Asia in recent years. While specific trade data for mercury containing electrical and electronic equipment is not available, for the sector as a whole, Eastern Europe and Central Asia regional demand has been estimated at 10-15 tonnes for 2005 (UNEP 2008a; UNEP 2010).

4.1.10 Other applications of mercury This category has traditionally included the use of mercury and mercury compounds in such diverse applications as pesticides, fungicides, laboratory chemicals, pharmaceuticals, paints, traditional medications, certain cultural and ritual uses, cosmetics, etc. However, there are some further applications that have recently reappeared in which the consumption of mercury is also significant. In particular, the continued use of mercury in the production of artificial rubber is one such use that appears to be widespread. 6 Likewise, the use of mercury in some research and testing devices may be more significant than previously suspected, as discussed in a recent study for the European Commission (2008), which also identified substantial mercury consumption in compounds used in a broad range of applications. While specific trade data is not available for mercury use within this diverse group of "other applications," Eastern Europe and Central Asia regional demand has been estimated at 10-20 tonnes for 2005 (UNEP 2008a; UNEP 2010).

4.1.11 Summary of mercury consumption in EECA Based on the elements presented above, Table 7 below summarises the key applications of elemental mercury in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region, including modest mercury consumption for the manufacture of products for export. It should be noted that Table 7 indicates “gross” mercury consumption, i.e., prior to any mercury recycling or recovery. Recycling and recovery are addressed separately as mercury “sources” in Section 5.1 below. While the consumption of mercury by the chlor-alkali industry is predominant in the region, and this industry is associated with large “mechanical” losses of mercury that are unaccounted for (ACAP 2005), diverse other uses of mercury clearly remain widespread and significant.

6

Specifically, mercury “catalysts” (basically hardening or curing agents) are sometimes used in the production of polyurethane elastomers, used as artificial “rubber” for roller blade wheels, etc., in which the catalysts remain in the final product.


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Mercury consumption in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (tonnes, 2005)

Application

minimum

maximum

Small-scale gold mining

15

32

VCM/PVC production

15

25

Chlor-alkali production

50

70

Batteries

10

20

Dental applications

10

15

Measuring and control devices

25

30

8

10

Lamps Electrical and electronic equipment

10

15

*

Other

10

20

Totals

153

237

* “Other” applications include uses of mercury in pesticides, fungicides, catalysts, paints, chemical intermediates, laboratory and clinical applications, research and testing equipment, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, traditional medicine, cultural and ritual uses, etc.

4.2 Future mercury consumption in Eastern Europe and Central Asia The objective of this section is to forecast the evolution of Eastern Europe and Central Asia mercury consumption between 2010 and 2050, reflecting existing and reasonable expectations of national and global initiatives, as specified in partnership business plans and related UNEP and UNIDO global mercury initiatives, where available.

4.2.1 Global trends The fabrication and use of most mercury-added products is in general decline as countries and regions in many parts of the world implement legislation or voluntary initiatives to reduce or phase out various uses of mercury. In the near to medium term, the rate of global decline in mercury consumption will depend largely upon reductions in mercury use by:    

artisanal and small-scale gold miners; the battery, electrical equipment, and measuring device manufacturing sectors; dental practitioners; and chlor-alkali production facilities.

Although not as significant as in other regions of the world, artisanal and small-scale gold mining in the EECA region may become more of a challenge as the world gold price continues to rise – if mercury continues to be too readily available and too cheap. In the present circumstances there is not enough incentive for miners to seriously consider alternatives that use less or no mercury. As the EU and US export bans take effect in 2011 and 2013, however, the mercury supply should be significantly reduced, and miners should have more of an economic incentive to change their habits. The mercury-added product sectors also represent significant potential for decreases in consumption during this time period because alternative mercury-free products are readily available, they are typically of equal or better quality, and prices are generally competitive.


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For these sectors, the challenges are not technical, but are rather related to the extent of encouragement offered by countries or regions through awareness-raising, legal or voluntary mechanisms, etc. For the chlor-alkali sector as well, a more energy-efficient and mercury-free technology is in widespread use around the world, but short-term profits are higher as long as chloralkali plants are permitted to continue using the old mercury technology. If no pressure is applied, this industry will take a long time to make the shift.

4.2.2 Eastern Europe and Central Asia trends For this analysis, the objectives for future reductions in mercury consumption are based on those agreed in the Mercury-Containing Products Partnership Area Business Plan (UNEP 2008b), which is also based on the “Focused Mercury Reduction Scenario” of UNEP’s Mercury Trade Report (UNEP 2006). Using 2005 as the base year, these objectives are applied to Eastern Europe and Central Asia regional mercury consumption in order to estimate trends for the period 2010-2050, as summarized in Table 8. Table 8

Basic assumptions regarding future EECA mercury consumption (base year 2005)

Processes

Assumptions regarding future consumption

Small-scale gold mining

Assume mercury consumption in small-scale gold mining is reduced globally by 50% during the next 10-15 years, with a subsequent decline after that of 5% per year. According to UNIDO, the 50% reduction can be met by eliminating whole ore amalgamation and encouraging greater mercury reuse (UNEP 2006). Supply restrictions are expected to help achieve this objective by raising mercury prices and otherwise encouraging greater efficiencies in mercury use. Considering that these facilities are often operated in parallel with chlor-alkali facilities, assume that remaining industry capacity using mercury catalysts will be gradually phased out by 2025. Therefore, industry consumption (not including any recycling) will be gradually reduced by 15-25 tonnes/yr. during this period. Assume no new mercury cell facilities will be constructed in any country. Assume that remaining mercury cell capacity will be gradually phased out by 2025. Therefore, industry consumption (not including any recycling) will be gradually reduced by 50-70 tonnes/yr. during this period.

Vinyl chloride monomer production Chlor-alkali production

Products

Assumptions regarding future consumption

Batteries

Assume a 75% decrease in mercury consumption by 2015, and the remaining demand phased out gradually thereafter until 2025. Assume a 15% reduction by 2015, and a gradual reduction thereafter to 50% of present consumption by 2050. Assume a 60% reduction of mercury consumption by 2015, the phase-out of mercury fever thermometer and blood pressure cuff manufacturing by 2017, and the phase-out of remaining demand by 2025. Assume a 20% reduction by 2015 and a gradual reduction of 80% overall by 2050. Assume gradual 55% reduction of mercury consumption by 2015, and a complete phase-out by 2050. Assume a gradual 25% reduction of mercury consumption by 2020, and 50% by 2050.

Dental applications Measuring and control devices Lamps Electrical and electronic equipment Other applications

All of these assumptions are included as well in Figure 2 below, which shows that mercury-added products and chlor-alkali manufacturing are by far the largest consumers of mercury in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Moreover, since unexplained mercury losses in the chlor-alkali industry are considerable, and the use of mercury in products comprises large numbers of items containing small amounts of mercury used over wide


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geographic areas, it is highly likely that a substantial part of this mercury will eventually end up in the environment. Figure 2 Projected EECA mercury consumption, 2010-2050 180

Products & other applications

Mercury (tonnes)

160

Chlor-alkali production

140

VCM/PVC production

120

Artisanal & small-scale gold mining

100 80 60 40 20 0

5 Regional sources of metallic mercury 5.1 Major Eastern Europe and Central Asia sources of mercury supply Assuming for the purpose of this analysis that recycled or recovered mercury is considered a “source,” there are typically six potential regional sources of mercury supply: 1. Mercury mining and/or processing of mercury mine tailings; 2. Collection of process mercury from decommissioned mercury cell chlor-alkali plants (MCCAPs); 3. By-product mercury from the refining or processing of non-ferrous metals; and from the cleaning of natural gas; 4. Mercury recovered or recycled from products containing mercury and from processes using mercury. 5. Mercury recovered during rehabilitation of contaminated sites. 6. Stocks of mercury accumulated from previous years (typically the original source would have been from mercury mining or a by-product of other mining, chlor-alkali decommissioning, or other major sources). According to the methodology used here, mercury imported from outside the region (as metallic mercury or in products) would not be considered a regional source.

5.1.1 Mercury mining Over the years, mercury sulphide (mercury (II), or cinnabar) ore was often processed to produce primary mercury if the mercury concentration in the ore exceeded 0.05‐0.1%.


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The main industrial-scale resources of mercury in the EECA region are summarized in Table 9 below. Table 9

Proven industrial resources of mercury in EECA countries

Countries

Number of deposits

Size of deposit (tonnes)

Average mercury content in areas explored (%)

Kyrgyz Rep.

3

44,900

0.3

47.5

Russia

23

15,600

0.45

16.5

Ukraine

5

20,400

0.3

21.6

Tajikistan

3

6,900

Kazakhstan

9

6,100

Azerbaijan

2

Uzbekistan

0.055

Overall share of total resource (%)

7.3

<0.01

6.4

700

0.3

0.7

1

n.a.

0.3

n.a.

46

94,600

100

IAC (2002) – “The International and National Markets of Non-Ferrous and Rare Metals,” Information and Analysis Compendium (as of 1 July 2002), Issue #14, Mercury, Moscow.

Worldwide, in the 19th and 20th centuries a total of 1.5 million tonnes of primary mercury were produced, including in the 20th century:    

Ukraine – over 35,000 tonnes, Kyrgyzstan (now Kyrgyz Republic) – over 32,000 tonnes, Russia – nearly 60,000 tonnes, Tajikistan – nearly 10,000 tonnes (ACAP 2005).

According to other data, since 1941 Kyrgyzstan has produced 40,000 tonnes of mercury (UNEP/GRID 2008), although this figure may include considerable secondary mercury recovered from mercury wastes, etc. The Kyrgyz Republic of Central Asia has the world’s third largest resources of mercury after Spain and China. There are about 400 mercury deposits, two of them comprising large fields (Chonkoi and Khaidarkan with more than 20 thousand tonnes) and one medium-sized field (Zardobuka with 1500 tonnes). The remaining deposits are relatively small. The Khaidarkan Mercury Complex is based in the Batken region of southern Kyrgyz Republic. Miners of mercury ore at Khaidarkan, the main source of ore for the Complex, are increasingly going after deep deposits. The resource base is now confined to the western end of the district, with an average ore grade of 0.4% mercury (compared to over 3% for high-grade cinnabar ores at the Almadén mine in Spain). In 2003‐2007 the Kyrgyz Republic reduced mercury production to an average of about 330 tonnes/year because of a problem with water incursion in the mines (UNEP/GRID 2008). Such factors help to explain why the Complex has not been able in recent years to come close to its rated processing capacity of around 600 tonnes mercury per year, as evident in Figure 3 below.


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Figure 3 Khaidarkan mercury production (tonnes), 1941-2007

Source: UNEP/GRID (2008)

The Kyrgyz Republic became the only remaining producer of primary mercury besides China, and the only remaining exporter of primary mercury, after the Almadén mine in Spain stopped producing in 2004. The Kyrgyz Republic exports its entire mine output, shown in Table 10, and has also in the past accepted antimony-mercury mine concentrates from neighbouring countries for refining. Table 10 Mercury mine production (metric tonnes) in Kyrgyz Republic, 2000-2007 Mercury mine production 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 (metric tonnes) Kyrgyz Republic

590

574

542

370-397

488

304

~175

331

Sources: UNEP (2004); UNEP/GRID (2008).

With regard to other regional production, Ukraine (Nikitovka mine) and Russia (Aktash mining and smelting enterprise; NPP Kubantsvetmet CJSC) have not mined primary mercury since the mid- to late-1990s, while Tajikistan’s production of mercury from antimony-Hg concentrates (Jijikrut mine) has been as high as 35 tonnes, but is now routinely less than 20 tonnes per year. The Nikitovskiy Mercury Factory/LLS “Nikitrtut” in Ukraine is heavily contaminated with mercury because this factory was the main producer of primary mercury in Russia/USSR, and after 1966 it also started processing mercury wastes. In total the factory produced over 35,000 tonnes of primary mercury from 1887 to 1995. Production of secondary mercury was sometimes as high as 400 tonnes per annum. There were also smaller mercury mines in Russia. The main candidates for primary production of mercury are NPP Kubantsvetmet CJSC that controls the Sakhalinskoye


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deposit of Krasnodarsky Kray (up to 50-60 tonnes per year theoretical production capacity) and Aktash mining and smelting factory in Altai Kray (up to 100 tonnes per year theoretical production capacity). However, the small-scale facility and low quality of Hg ores of the Sakhalin deposit, and the lack of its own stocks of raw materials at Aktash make it difficult if not impossible to resume operations (ACAP 2005).

5.1.2 Mercury cell chlor-alkali facilities There is a large quantity of process mercury at the bottom of the electrolytic “cells” that is necessary for the “mercury cell” chlor-alkali production process to function. When a mercury cell facility is closed or converted to the membrane process (“decommissioned”), the mercury is removed. In the past this mercury has typically been reused within the industry, or it has been sold outside the industry on the international market. Lacking specific regulations or industry agreements to prevent it, the mercury recovered from recently closed facilities in Russia and Kazakhstan was either reused within the industry or sold on the international market (Ilyushchenko 2010). All liquid mercury collected at decommissioned chlor-alkali plants in the former Soviet Union was sold without any pre-treatment. It is believed that in the past much of this mercury was sold to China, as was the case for the mercury recovered from the Pavlodar (Kazakhstan) chemical plant (Ilyushchenko 2010). However, at least one European trader bought large quantities of mercury from Russian dealers especially during the 1990s (Masters 2009), and it is likely that at least some of this was residual mercury from decommissioned chlor-alkali plants. The mercury process is considered to be old technology, not Best Available Techniques (BAT), according to the European IPPC Reference Document on Best Available Techniques in the Chlor-Alkali Manufacturing Industry (BREF 2001), with a variety of mercury releases and losses, some of which have proven impossible to control. No new mercury cell facilities have been constructed in Eastern Europe and Central Asia for more than 20 years. In other countries, the Indian chlor-alkali producers have announced plans to phase out their remaining mercury facilities by 2012. The United States will reportedly have only four plants left at the end of 2009. Among the major users, only the Europeans, who invested heavily in mercury technology in the 1960s and 1970s, have been slow to phase out mercury cells, promising now to do so by 2020 at the latest. Since there is no timetable yet for Eastern Europe and Central Asia facilities to close or convert to a mercury-free process, it is assumed that general international pressure will encourage them to phase out. As plants are decommissioned, the mercury inventory of 1000-1500 tonnes held in the electrolytic cells will be recovered. For the purpose of this analysis, as mentioned in Section 4.2.2, we assume that remaining mercury cell capacity will be gradually phased out by 2025, as indicated in Table 11 below.


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Figure 4 Pavlodar (PO “Khimprom”) chlor-alkali plant, decommissioned in 1993

Apart from the metallic mercury in the electrolytic cells, mercury waste is also generated by chlor-alkali facilities. In Russia, for example, about 40% of the mercury consumed in four facilities went to the waste stream (ACAP 2005). It is possible to retort and recover much of the mercury from this waste, but this has not been common practice in the EECA countries (see Section 5.1.4 - Recycling below). Table 11 Mercury from decommissioned chlor-alkali plants in Eastern Europe and Central Asia Approx. chlorine Approx. cellroom Assumed Ave. mercury production capacity mercury inventory phase-out recovered (tonnes/yr.) (tonnes) period (tonnes/yr.) Minimum

500,000

1,000

2015-2025

100

Maximum

750,000

1,500

2015-2025

150

Average

625,000

1,250

2015-2025

125

5.1.3 By-product mercury Non-ferrous ores may contain significant trace quantities of mercury, especially in those regions of the world where the appropriate geological conditions exist. Zinc is most often the focus of attention, but gold, copper and lead ores also contain trace mercury (NRDC 2007). While the mercury content may vary greatly between regions, or from one mine to another, it is often significant enough that it should be removed from the flue gases or waste streams during the processing of the ores. On a global basis, Table 12 below provides an indication of the relative mercury content of various non-ferrous ores.


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Table 12 Atmospheric emission factors for smelter emissions of mercury* Global excluding Global Ore type Australia, Europe, average Canada and U.S. Copper smelters

5.81

6.72

Lead smelters

15.71

14.91

Zinc smelters

12.09

16.61

* Hg emissions in grams of total Hg per tonne of total Cu, Pb, or Zn metal content in processed concentrate Source: Hylander & Herbert (2008)

Several technologies are available to control and capture mercury emissions from thermal processes at ore processing facilities. The Boliden-Norzink process uses mercuric chloride to precipitate metallic mercury as calomel (mercurous chloride). In the Outokumpu process, mercury is removed with sulphuric acid and then precipitated with selenium to produce mercury-selenium sulphate sludge. Importantly, the â&#x20AC;&#x153;wasteâ&#x20AC;? products of these two processes can be treated to recover metallic mercury. In many gold mines the Merrill-Crowe process is used to precipitate gold from a cyanide solution, followed by a filter press and then retorting of the residues to recover the mercury. Other techniques for removing mercury from ore processing gases include the Bolchem process (which uses thiosulfate to precipitate mercury), activated carbon filters, selenium scrubbers, selenium filters and lead sulphide filters (Hylander & Herbert, 2008).

5.1.3.1 Zinc, copper and gold ores World zinc production grew by 4% in 2006, an estimated 6% in 2007, and was expected (before the economic crisis hit) to further increase to over 12 million tonnes for 2008, driven by strong growth in Asia (IMSG 2008). Mercury is typically emitted, and occasionally recovered, especially at the larger facilities, during the smelting and refining process, which does not always take place at the mine itself. The main Eastern European and Central Asian countries operating large zinc ore smelters are listed in Table 13. Mercury removal technology is most cost-effective when installed on the largest smelters, which in this region are responsible for over 80% of primary zinc smelting. Table 13 Large EECA primary zinc smelters Company

Location

Kazakhstan

Kazzinc

Ust-Kamenogorsk

1947

249,000

Kazakhstan

Kaz-Tyumen

Leninogorsk

1966

108,000

Russian Federation

Chelyabinsk Zinc

Chelyabinsk

1935

200,000

Russian Federation

UMMC

Uzbekistan

Almalyk Mining and Metallurgy

Almalyk

1971

120,000

Total Source: ILZRO (2008)

Commissioned

Capacity (tonnes/annum)

Country

98,000 ~680,000

In estimating the mercury potentially recoverable worldwide from primary zinc ores, Boliden company officials listed the zinc smelters that have installed Boliden mercury


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removal technology (UNEP 2006). The Boliden list included no smelters in the EECA region with mercury removal technology. It appears that in the EECA countries most mercury in zinc ores is disposed of with the processing waste, stored in some manner or released to the environment. Under increasing international scrutiny, it is likely that by 2020 most EECA governments will require mercury to be recovered from the larger zinc smelters, as they are frequently a significant contributor of mercury emissions to the environment. It is also assumed – in line with Russian legislation – that the mercury-containing waste thus generated will then be processed to recover elemental mercury. According to some estimates, Russian production facilities involved in the mining, clarification and processing of non-ferrous ores annually treat ores containing from 31 to 92 tonnes of mercury (Eco-Accord). Hylander and Herbert (2008) calculated that the Russian Federation and the former USSR countries emitted 57.75 tonnes of mercury to the atmosphere from copper, lead, and zinc smelters in 2005. Based on the same source, and including the other countries of the EECA region, a range of 70-80 tonnes of atmospheric mercury emissions would be a reasonable estimate. Moreover, Hylander and Herbert (2008) noted that, due to the particular geological conditions in the region, mercury emissions from copper smelters may be as large a problem as those from zinc smelters. Focusing only on the larger smelters, and including both copper and zinc smelters, for the purpose of this analysis it is assumed that mercury recovery will gradually rise to 4050 tonnes/year by 2020, and inevitably increase further in subsequent years depending on global demand and economic conditions. For example, it was recently reported (ILZSG 2008) that a number of large zinc mines in the Russian Federation are under development or in early planning stages:    

Pavlovskoye – 300,000 tonnes Zn/yr. – looking at possible 2015 start-up Ozyornoe – 250,000 tonnes Zn/yr. – looking at possible 2015-2020 start-up Kholodninskoe – 250,000 tonnes Zn/yr. – looking at possible 2020 start-up Sardana – 150,000 tonnes Zn/yr. – looking at possible 2020 start-up

No definitive research has published a calculation of mercury releases from industrial gold mines in the EECA region. Based on indications presented in ACAP (2005), however, it may be estimated that recoverable mercury could amount to 10-30 tonnes annually. Added to mercury recovery from copper and zinc smelters (see above), one could project 50-80 tonnes of mercury recovered from the non-ferrous metals sector by 2020. Nevertheless, even 50 tonnes of mercury recovered will depend heavily on the level of political support for such measures.

5.1.3.2 Natural gas Most natural gas contains some mercury in trace quantities. In many regions of the world, depending on geology, such as the Netherlands, North Sea, Algeria, Croatia, Siberia, etc., the mercury concentrations are high enough to cause serious equipment problems during processing,7 not to mention potential hazard to the consumer. Pirrone and colleagues reported that “a reduction of mercury to below 10 g/m3 has to be

7

Specifically, mercury condenses as liquid mercury on the inside of piping and equipment, or it amalgamates with aluminium (most problematic) or other metals (except iron), gradually corroding and weakening the metals, which has resulted in serious industrial accidents.


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obtained before the gas can be used,” although mercury is often removed from gas even at far lower concentrations (Pirrone 2001). A very incomplete overview of mercury in natural gas at a number of Russian gas fields is provided in Table 14. It should be noted that the mercury content may vary significantly from one field to another – and may even vary between two fields in the same general sector. Table 14 Mercury measured at different Russian gas fields Gas field

Measured mercury content (µg/cubic meter)

Grodsinsk

110

Mlodasko

34

Nemezhic

24

Paprotzh

19

Shevche

9.8

Bonikovo

1.7

Ujaz

<0.5

Buck

<0.5

Stashnev

<0.5

Source: “RA-915+ High selectivity portable Zeeman mercury analyzer,” Lumex brochure, www.lumex.ru

Many of the Eastern European and Central Asian countries produce natural gas, as presented in Table 15. Table 15 EECA recent natural gas production World Country Cubic meters rank 1 Russia 662,200,000,000 14 Uzbekistan 67,600,000,000 23 Kazakhstan 35,610,000,000 24 Turkmenistan 34,000,000,000 30 Azerbaijan 23,000,000,000 31 Ukraine 21,200,000,000 56 Croatia 2,847,000,000 63 Turkey 1,014,000,000 73 Serbia 230,000,000 77 Belarus 152,000,000 82 Moldova 50,000,000 85 Kyrgyzstan 30,000,000 86 Albania 30,000,000 90 Tajikistan 16,100,000 92 Georgia 8,000,000 Total 847,987,100,000

Date 2008 est. 2008 est. 2009 est. 2009 est. 2009 est. 2008 est. 2009 est. 2009 est. 2005 est. 2008 est. 2007 est. 2008 est. 2008 est. 2009 est. 2008 est.

Source: "The World Factbook,” https://www.cia.gov/library/publications


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While the methodology was complex and the uncertainty large, ACAP (2005) estimated mercury mobilised from Russian natural gas at 2-10 tonnes, with a most likely estimate around 8.2 tonnes. Extrapolating that finding to the quantity of gas produced more recently throughout the EECA region, one arrives at something on the order of 12 tonnes of mercury mobilised – with a correspondingly large margin of error. It has been estimated that 25-30 metric tonnes of mercury are recovered yearly from natural gas wastes in the European Union (UNEP 2006). Since the European Union gas production is only one-third of the Russian production, the EU estimate appears high, and/or the Russian estimate appears low. Nevertheless, a range of 10-20 tonnes of mercury for the EECA region as a whole is sufficient for the purposes of this analysis.

5.1.4 Recycling

5.1.4.1 Historical perspective Simply in order to facilitate the methodology described in Section 3, recycling is considered in this analysis as a “source” of mercury. Like other mercury sources, it may be exploited or managed through a variety of policies that focus on mercury-containing products as they enter the waste stream, and/or residual mercury and wastes from industrial processes. In 1966 the Council of Ministers of the USSR issued a Special Resolution (No. 2155 dated 10.09.1966) obliging chemical and electro-technical industries to transport their mercury containing wastes to Nikitovskiy Mercury Combine (Ukraine) for recycling. Up to 1990, the Combine could receive 12 types of mercury waste, and was able to produce up to 400 tonnes of recycled mercury per year. The average volume of recycled mercury in the USSR during this period amounted to an estimated 300 tonnes per year (ACAP 2005). After the USSR dissolved, during the first half of the 1990s smaller volumes of Russian mercury waste were recycled at Aktash mining factory, and during the second half of the 1990s at NPP Kubantsvetmet CJSC – both in Russia. In May 1997, Ukraine and Russia signed an Agreement on Cooperation for the Processing of Mercury-Containing Waste, according to which Russian facilities were expected to supply about 500 tonnes of mercury-containing waste to Nikitovskiy Plant annually to produce 12-15 tonnes of mercury and mercury compounds. For political reasons the agreement was never implemented. Likewise, the transport of mercury waste to the Khaidarkan mercury factory in the Kyrgyz Republic became unrealistic due to the high cost of transportation, compounded by the increased difficulty of crossing national borders.

5.1.4.2 Accumulated mercury waste As a result, since 1990 the vast majority of mercury containing wastes in the Russian Federation have simply been accumulated. Following a request of the Environmental Parliamentary Committee of the State Duma of 2 April 1998, and a request of the Russian Federation Government of 27 May 1998 (No. BN-P1-1482), the R&D Centre of PURO of the Russian Federation Ministry of Economy carried out a research study8 on 8

Report on R&D works - "Analysis of Environmental Contamination by Mercury in the Russian Federation". R&D Centre of PURO under the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Environment of the Russian Federation, 1999, (Rus.).


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the generation and accumulation of mercury-containing waste (MCW). According to this study, by the end of the 1990s the total volume of accumulated mercury waste was estimated at 1.1 million tonnes, of which:   

58% of these wastes contained 0.001-0.003 % of mercury (by weight); 12% contained 0.01-0.5% mercury; 30% contained more than 0.5% mercury.

The total mercury content of this waste was estimated at 2,100 tonnes – very close to the minimum end of the range – and could therefore easily be somewhat higher. Another 11,000 tonnes of mercury waste are believed to be produced and stored annually (Eco-Accord 2008). Moreover, by 2002 the non-ferrous industries had accumulated more than 63,000 tonnes of mercury-selenium slag containing about 155 tonnes of mercury. The so-called mercury “stupp” (approx. 75-80% mercury content) recovered from mercury containing products was reported to be stored in special reservoirs at demercurization plants or specialised landfills. If true, the mercury content of this stupp in Russia amounted to 30 tonnes already in 2002 (ACAP 2005).

5.1.4.3 Chlor-alkali waste In the chlor-alkali industry, very little of the mercury in the waste stream is presently recycled in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Even before 1990, at the Pavlodar chemical plant in Kazakhstan, only 0.8% of the mercury consumed was recovered. The mercury sludge waste was sent to the Nikitovskiy mercury factory in Ukraine. Overall about 10 tonnes of mercury were recovered during 17 years of the Pavlodar plant operation. When the mercury electrolysis facility was eventually dismantled, another 17 tonnes of mercury and 130 tonnes of mercury-containing sludge were collected from the facility floor and equipment (Ilyushchenko 2010). Over the whole EECA region, based on ACAP (2005), it may be assumed that no more than about 5 tonnes of mercury are recovered annually from chlor-alkali waste. Assuming that 40% of the mercury consumed by the industry goes into the waste stream (see Section 5.1.2), and that the industry consumes 50-70 tonnes of mercury annually (see Section 4.1.4), based on U.S. experience it should be possible to recover from the waste stream 30-35% of mercury consumed (i.e., new mercury added to the electrolytic cells) every year.

5.1.4.4 Mercury containing product waste Various mercury products are collected for recycling in different parts of the world, especially measuring devices (mainly thermometers and blood pressure measuring instruments), batteries, lamps, dental amalgam, etc. For all of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, based on research into the waste pathways followed by mercury-added products (MPP 2008), it is estimated that about 3% of the mercury consumed in products is presently recycled, particularly blood pressure instruments used in health clinics, dental wastes and button cell batteries. The future evolution of the recycling rate for products is highly dependent on government policies – not only those dealing with end-of-life products, but also those concerning the disposal of hazardous wastes. It has been observed that as hazardous waste disposal becomes more costly, more mercury waste is diverted to recycling and less to other forms of disposal. Of course, this shift assumes that there remains a viable demand for mercury. At such point as the supply of mercury exceeds the demand, the financial incentive for recycling becomes much less compelling.


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According to Eco-Accord (2008), “there are several facilities in Ukraine that demercurize mercury-containing waste.” Nevertheless, the vast majority is stored or disposed of. Based on the estimates that the EU and US may have achieved an overall 15% mercury product recycling rate, it is here assumed that Eastern Europe and Central Asia could achieve at least 10% by 2020 and 25% by 2040. It is evident that collection, recycling, and recovery of mercury from products may continue for several years after phase-out of a mercury-added product. However, such details have little effect on the outcome of this analysis, which is predominantly influenced by the large mercury flows.

5.1.4.5 Recycling summary According to estimates of both Russian and foreign authors, mercury production from recycling in the Russian Federation during the period 1996-2001 ranged between 30 and 50 tonnes per year (ACAP 2005), and it is not even certain that this level has been maintained. Meanwhile there is a recognized need for perhaps ten times that level of recycling (AIT/UNEP 2009). Assuming Russia is reasonably representative of the rest of the region, EECA mercury recycling in 2005 may be estimated at 30-60 tonnes. The baseline recycling data for 2005 and basic assumptions regarding future mercury recycling in Eastern Europe and Central Asia during the period 2010-2050 are summarized in Table 16 below. Table 16 Basic assumptions regarding EECA mercury recycling 2010-2050 (tonnes) Consumption

Recycling

2005

2005

Forecast 2010-2050

Recycling of process mercury Artisanal and smallscale gold mining

15-32

Included simply as reduced consumption.

Included simply as reduced consumption

Vinyl chloride monomer production

15-25

7-12

Approx. 50% of consumption until this process is phased out in 2025

Chlor-alkali production

50-70

5

Increasing to 30-35% of gross mercury consumption until this process is phased out in 2025

Recycling of mercury products and “other” applications All products combined

73-110

3% of consumption

10% of consumption by 2020, and 25% by 2040

Recycling of accumulated mercury wastes Diverse

Not applicable

15-40

Potentially increasing to 150-200 tonnes/year

It is generally accepted that low-level mercury wastes may be disposed of in designated landfills. At the other extreme, high-level mercury wastes may be less costly to recycle than to treat and sequester. The large volume of mercury containing wastes between these two extremes present a different challenge. The decision to reprocess or to dispose of these wastes is largely political. Already in 1966 the Soviet government determined that the preferred option for most mercury wastes is recycling. That was a wise decision, and represents a commendable policy for moving forward. The challenge


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now – in a time of decreasing mercury use and increasing international scrutiny – is how best to reprocess the accumulated waste, and what to do with the recovered mercury after reprocessing.

5.1.5 Contaminated sites

5.1.5.1 Historical perspective Contaminated sites are a significant source of secondary pollution of the environment in the EECA region, and pose a threat to human health, including:     

areas used for storage or disposal of liquid and solid mercury wastes, mercury contaminated production facilities and buildings (especially floor slabs and concrete foundations), surface and groundwater in proximity to contaminated sites, contaminated soils within industrial areas and treatment facilities, as well as along roads, sediments of water bodies and waterways where mercury-bearing wastewater was discharged.

Mercury contaminated sites in the former USSR include gold mining areas (Urals, Siberia, Far East, Central Asia); production facilities for thermometers (mainly the town of Klin), energy-saving lamps (mainly Saransk and Smolensk cities), detonators (fulminate of mercury, Hg(ONC)2), vitamin B-12 (Belgorod and Shvarts, Tulskaya oblast), chlor-alkali (various locations), lithium isotopes (Novosibirsk city), mercury reagents (various locations), batteries (various locations), measuring, vacuum and electrical devices (various locations), pigments; and many others (ACAP 2005). To take mercury-containing pesticides as an example, the chemical plant “Sintez” in Dzerzhinsk city, Nizhgorodskaya oblast, was the only producer of mercury-containing pesticides – mainly Granosan (active ingredient ethyl mercury phosphate) – in the USSR. In 1955 it produced 5 tonnes of Granosan, and by 1960 it was producing 200 tonnes yearly. Production was eventually closed down in 1989 (50 tonnes were produced that year). The Sintez plant site contains now one of the two largest Russian landfills (the other is in Leningrad oblast) for mercury-containing pesticide wastes. There are smaller sites storing Granosan in each of the agricultural regions of the former USSR, most of which have not yet been remediated (ACAP 2005). In an inventory of pesticide storage facilities commissioned by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia, in addition to tens of other obsolete and banned pesticides, several mercury-containing pesticides were identified, including Granosan, Granosan M, and the more common Ceresan M (ethyl mercury p-toluene sulphonanilide). Table 17 lists the Russian storage sites identified (Eco-Accord 2008). Preliminary inventory data at the beginning of 2004 suggested that for the whole of the Russian Federation (CIS), more than 500 tonnes of banned mercury-containing pesticides might be stored, containing some 10-15 tonnes mercury. The storage conditions typically did not meet applicable environmental and safety standards, and disposal of those stocks of banned and obsolete pesticides was listed as one of the most pressing environmental problems (Eco-Accord 2008). However, the present status of those pesticides and storage facilities has not been confirmed.


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Table 17 Russian sites storing obsolete mercury-containing pesticides

Location Altaiskiy Krai Arkhangelsk Oblast

Pesticide quantity (kg) 97,952 490

Krasnoyarskiy Krai

6,550

Kurgan Oblast

2,300

Magadan Oblast Omsk Oblast Tyumen Oblast

150 33,014 8,670

5.1.5.2 Scope of mercury contamination and remediation efforts At present it has been confirmed that mercury pollution is spreading from many industrial sites into surface and ground waters, as well as into the atmosphere due to volatilization of metallic mercury from contaminated soils and wastes (ISTC 2009). The scale of mercury releases to the environment in the former USSR exceeded 1,000 tonnes of mercury for each of a number of large-capacity production facilities such as chlor-alkali or acetaldehyde, and several tens or hundreds of tonnes of mercury for smaller chlor-alkali facilities attached to wood pulp factories, or producers of chemical reagents, polymers, pesticides, amalgam, electrical equipment and measuring devices, etc. It has been estimated that in total about 30,000 tonnes of mercury have contaminated the environment of the former USSR from such facilities since the 1960s (ISTC 2009). An incomplete but highly indicative table of contaminated sites in the EECA region has been appended as Annex 1, confirming some 15,000 tonnes of mercury contamination only at the sites where it has been quantified. At present, remediation of contaminated sites in the CIS is underway or planned for most sites of major contamination. However, the clean-up process is so far only very basic (pouring out and collecting liquid mercury, cleaning equipment that can be reused, or dismantling it for disposal as hazardous waste, cleaning or demolishing and disposing of building materials, etc.), even for sites of such heavy contamination as Pavlodar and Temirtau (see Figure 5 and Figure 6).


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Figure 5 Acetaldehyde factory (PO “Karbid”), Temirtau City, Nura River, decommissioned 1997

Apart from “complete remediation” of the site, which would typically be quite expensive, a significant amount of the mercury (estimated at up to 40-50%) contaminating these sites could likely be recovered as metallic mercury for a cost not much higher than the market price of mercury. However, this is not done in Russia presently due to the lack of domestic facilities to recover the mercury, and the political and logistical challenges of transporting mercury wastes across various national borders to the Nikitovskiy Mercury Factory (Ukraine) or the Khaidarkan Mercury Mining Complex (Kyrgyz Republic) – the two main sites in the region that have historically treated such wastes (Ilyushchenko 2010). Assuming that mercury contamination of the EECA region is on the order of 30,000 tonnes, and assuming conservatively that only 10-20% of that mercury could be recovered at a reasonable cost, this still amounts to some 3,000 to 6,000 tonnes of recoverable mercury, which completely dwarfs all of the other “sources” of mercury in the region. While one needs to be careful to avoid double-counting with regard to mercury waste stored at many sites, one might forecast as a “maximum mercury supply scenario” the recovery of up to 100 tonnes of mercury per year from contaminated sites.


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Figure 6 Drops of metallic mercury visible in the soil around the Temirtau acetaldehyde site

5.1.5.3 Observations With regard to contaminated sites, the following factors should be taken into consideration: 

at present, complete remediation of mercury-contaminated sites, and even partial remediation of the soil to an acceptable safety level is impossible due to the high cost;

safe long-distance transportation of large quantities of mercury waste is also costly, and carries a significant risk of contamination along the transport route;

smelting of mercury wastes to recover elemental mercury is mainly viable for relatively mercury-rich wastes, and assumes either market demand for the recovered mercury, or a clear government policy of recovering mercury for longterm storage or sequestration.

It should also be noted that the EECA region has few specialised sites for the burial of toxic industrial waste, insufficient capacity for their neutralisation and treatment, and inadequate registration and collection procedures, resulting in the accumulation of all types of mercury waste on-site in all parts of the region. On-site storage of toxic waste often does not meet applicable environmental requirements, resulting in releases of toxic substances into the environment, unauthorised waste dumps and other substandard practices (Eco-Accord 2008). It is clear that as the political priority of dealing with


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hazardous waste increases, and as the support structure improves, several countries in the EECA region are fully capable of supplying the region’s mercury needs for many years simply by recovering mercury from accumulated wastes and contaminated sites.

5.1.6 Mercury stocks In the past, reserve stocks of mercury held by governments or their proxies have been traded on the world market. While this no longer appears to be the case, there remain two types of mercury inventory of interest. With regard to the first type of inventory, there are typically commercial stocks held by traders or brokers, especially in light of the mercury price volatility of recent years. Such stocks have not been confirmed to be significant at present in the EECA region, and in any case, for this analysis these stocks are not considered in the same manner as other mercury “supplies” that are generated every year. Rather, these stocks would be marketed only as needed under special circumstances – to dampen or to take advantage of price fluctuations, to meet sudden surges in demand, etc. With regard to the second type of inventory, there is an accumulation of mercury associated with various educational facilities, research institutes, experimental plants and residential users in urban areas. In 1997, as part of a major inventory of mercury sources in St. Petersburg, the total quantity of mercury in thermometers and other mercury-containing products in possession of the city residents was assessed at the level of at least 3 tonnes. Industrial facilities, research institutes, public health facilities, schools and pre-school facilities were found to be storing 10 to 12 tonnes of mercury. These facilities are typically responsible for emergency spills of mercury, of which more than 250 cases were officially registered each year in St. Petersburg (Puminov et al. 1999). Extrapolated to the rest of the urban population of the EECA region, there could be similar stocks amounting to over1000 tonnes of mercury. A small percentage of that total may be already considered in the discussion of recycled products in Section 5.1.4.4, but at least 800 tonnes of this total would be potentially recoverable.

5.2 Future Eastern European and Central Asian mercury supply Overall, the possible evolution of the main Eastern European and Central Asian regional sources of mercury during the period 2010-2050, as described in Sections 5.1.1 through 5.1.6, is summarised in Table 18 below. These are all sources generated within the region. Because the level of political attention devoted to mercury in future years is so uncertain, Table 18 elaborates two scenarios: 1. the first “Low Mercury Supply Scenario,” more or less reflecting the status quo, in which the regional mercury supply is relatively low; 2. and the second “High Mercury Supply Scenario,” reflecting greater regional and international attention to mercury issues, including a more formal policy to collect, treat and recover mercury products and wastes, especially those with an elevated mercury content.


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Table 18 Eastern Europe and Central Asia “sources” of elemental mercury (tonnes) Mercury “source” Mercury produced in 2005; and Evolution of Hg supply 2010-2050 (min. and max. scenarios) Mercury mining Hg “produced” 2005 (tonnes)

300-350 tonnes

Minimum Hg supply scenario

300 tonnes production until primary mining is phased out in 2020; continued production after 2020 of 15-20 t/yr from the Tajik antimony-mercury mine.

Maximum Hg supply scenario

350 tonnes production until primary mining is phased out in 2020; continued production after 2020 of 15-20 t/yr from the Tajik antimony-mercury mine.

Decommissioned chlor-alkali facilities Hg “produced” 2005 (tonnes)

none

Minimum Hg supply scenario

65 t/yr from 2010-2025

Maximum Hg supply scenario

100 t/yr from 2015-2025

By-product mercury (zinc, copper, gold) Hg “produced” 2005 (tonnes)

minimal

Minimum Hg supply scenario

Low level of support: Hg recovery from smelting rising to 20 tonnes/year by 2020, and further increasing 1%/yr to 2050.

Maximum Hg supply scenario

Higher level of support: Hg recovery from smelting rising to 80 tonnes/year by 2020, and further increasing 1%/yr to 2050.

By-product mercury (natural gas) Hg “produced” 2005 (tonnes)

~12 tonnes

Minimum Hg supply scenario

10 tonnes/yr, varying little over time

Maximum Hg supply scenario

20 tonnes/yr, varying little over time

Recycling – chlor-alkali and VCM Hg “produced” 2005 (tonnes)

12-17 tonnes

Minimum Hg supply scenario

20 tonnes in 2015 reducing to zero by 2025

Maximum Hg supply scenario

30 tonnes in 2015 reducing to zero by 2025

Recycling – mercury products and “other” Hg “produced” 2005 (tonnes)

3% of 73-110 tonnes

Minimum Hg supply scenario

10% of sector consumption by 2020, rising to 20% by 2040

Maximum Hg supply scenario

10% of sector consumption by 2020, rising to 30% by 2040

Recycling – accumulated mercury wastes (~3,000 tonnes total Hg) Hg “produced” 2005 (tonnes)

15-40 tonnes

Minimum Hg supply scenario

20 tonnes in 2015, rising to 50 tonnes by 2040

Maximum Hg supply scenario

40 tonnes in 2015, rising to 60 tonnes by 2020

Contaminated sites (~30,000 tonnes total Hg) Hg “produced” 2005 (tonnes)

minimal

Minimum Hg supply scenario

minimal mercury recovered

Maximum Hg supply scenario

40 tonnes in 2015, rising to 100 tonnes by 2025

The minimum and maximum mercury supply scenarios are shown graphically in Figure 7 and Figure 8 below. It is evident that mercury mining in the Kyrgyz Republic will be the main source of mercury in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region for as long as the mine remains operational. After that, chlor-alkali mercury will continue to be available for several years; then by-product mercury and mercury recovered from contaminated sites could play major roles, although both sources depend significantly on policy developments and a re-ordering of hazardous waste and emissions priorities in the region that are not yet evident.


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Figure 7 EECA Minimum Mercury Supply Scenario, 2010-2050 450

Minimum mercury supply scenario Mercury mining

400

Chlor-alkali decommissioning By-product mercury

Mercury (tonnes)

350

Recycling

300

Contaminated sites (minimal)

250 200 150 100

50 0

Figure 8 EECA Maximum Mercury Supply Scenario, 2010-2050 700

Maximum mercury supply scenario Mercury mining

600

Chlor-alkali decommissioning

Mercury (tonnes)

By-product mercury 500

Recycling Contaminated sites (minimal)

400

300

200

100

0


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6 Excess mercury in Eastern Europe and Central Asia 6.1 EECA mercury supply vs. consumption If one now combines each of the two scenarios for regional mercury supply with regional consumption, the net or excess regional availability of mercury may be seen. Recalling the main assumptions, these scenarios treat the Eastern European and Central Asian region as a “closed system.” The scenarios are based only on domestic sources and uses of mercury, i.e., they assume no exports from or imports to the region. Because of the last assumption, it is necessary to treat the Kyrgyz Khaidarkan mine output as a special case in calculating regional excess mercury supply. On the one hand, most of the Khaidarkan mercury mine output is exported from the region, so it makes little sense to assume such a large output must remain in the region. But more important, it is obvious that the Khaidarkan mine will not produce mercury only for the purpose of putting it in storage. Therefore, in calculating the difference between regional mercury supply and regional consumption, we have ignored the primary mercury produced by Khaidarkan, except for the purpose of providing mercury in the event of excess consumption (see Figure 9 below) in the early years of the analysis. Figure 9 below combines the regional mercury consumption information from the previous Figure 2, and the minimum regional supply information from Figure 7 (excluding most of the Khaidarkan supply). Again, assuming that all other regional mercury sources remain within the region, Figure 9 demonstrates that the regional mercury supply may be expected to significantly outweigh regional consumption in the future. Even under this Minimum Mercury Supply Scenario, the cumulative mercury excess between 2017 and 2050 amounts to just over 2,300 tonnes. Figure 9 EECA Hg supply vs. consumption, 2010-2050 – Minimum Mercury Supply Scenario EECA Minimum Mercury Supply vs. consumption 180

Mercury (tonnes)

160

Total minimum Hg supply Total Hg consumption products & processes

140 120 100 80

60 40 20 0

Figure 10 below combines once again the regional mercury consumption information from the previous Figure 2, but this time with the maximum regional supply information


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from Figure 8 (again excluding most of the Khaidarkan supply). Figure 10 demonstrates that under the Maximum Mercury Supply Scenario the regional mercury supply may be expected to greatly outweigh regional consumption in the future. In this case the cumulative mercury excess between 2011 and 2050 amounts to nearly 10,000 tonnes. Figure 10 EECA Hg supply vs. consumption, 2010-2050 – Maximum Mercury Supply Scenario EECA Maximum Mercury Supply vs. consumption 400

Mercury (tonnes)

350

Total maximum Hg supply Total Hg consumption products & processes

300 250 200

150 100 50 0

Based upon these two scenarios of EECA regional mercury supply vs. consumption, one might conclude that regional storage capacity or some alternative long-term disposal option for somewhere between 2,300 and 10,000 tonnes of metallic mercury – depending upon the manner in which the region decides to manage its various “sources” of mercury – should be seriously considered.

6.2 Key observation regarding the scenarios Significantly, neither mercury supply scenario takes into account the possibility of accelerated reductions in the mercury supply as a result of a policy of intentional storage of certain sources of mercury (e.g. by-product mercury from mining, or mercury recovered from decommissioned chlor-alkali facilities). It is important to note that such a proactive storage policy could help to reduce the availability of mercury in the region, thereby contributing to other efforts to reduce mercury consumption, especially in manufactured products and other applications. If this sort of policy were to be adopted, mercury storage could begin as soon as regional storage capacity becomes available.


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7 Observations and conclusions It is generally agreed that Eastern Europe and Central Asia regional mercury consumption will decline significantly during the next 10-15 years. However, it is virtually impossible to accurately estimate the long-term regional mercury supply, and therefore equally difficult to determine with any precision the excess mercury supply due to a number of key factors: 1. The regional political realities are such that free movement of mercury and mercury waste from one country to another may not be taken for granted. Therefore, countries with surplus mercury may export it from the region, while countries with an insufficient domestic supply of mercury may import it from outside the region. 2. There are dozens of industrial sites throughout the region with varying levels of mercury contamination, and considerable quantities of mercury waste generated by smelting and other industrial operations. In many cases much of that mercury could be recovered at reasonable cost. However, due to lack of investment in recovery equipment and/or access to recovery facilities, often for political reasons, there is at present very little metallic mercury recovered from wastes and contaminated sites. 3. As a result, while significant mercury imports still come into the region, and most mercury wastes are disposed of locally, this situation could change dramatically with changing political guidance. The region has the potential to supply all of its mercury needs from within the region, and to export surplus mercury from the region as well, as long as political realities permit. Therefore, while regional storage of metallic mercury cannot be ignored, it is also urgent to focus on identifying and addressing the worst contaminated sites, and to ensure that the disposal of mercury waste is carried out in line with internationally recognized standards. As mentioned previously, in order to help reduce mercury consumption, it is possible that regional authorities may decide to accelerate the storage of excess mercury. In this case they would likely follow the hierarchy established by the European Union, whereby any mercury recovered from decommissioned chlor-alkali facilities would be stored first, and then by-product mercury recovered from metal ore processing would be stored as a second priority. Based on the scenarios assessed, substantial excess mercury may be expected in Eastern Europe and Central Asia during the next two to six years. The quantity of mercury requiring storage may range anywhere between 2,000 and 10,000 tonnes, depending on a number of other factors. Either way, regional authorities need to begin planning immediately in order to adequately manage this excess mercury.


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8 References ACAP (2004) – “Reduction of Atmospheric Mercury Releases from Arctic States: Assessment of Mercury Releases from the Russian Federation,” Arctic Council Action Plan to Eliminate Pollution of the Arctic, coordinated by COWI in cooperation with the Russian Federal Service for Environmental, Technological and Atomic Supervision, Danish Environmental Protection Agency, 2005. AIT/UNEP (2009) – “Development of Options Analysis and Pre-Feasibility Study for the Long-Term Storage of Mercury in Asia and the Pacific,” AIT‐UNEP Regional Resource Centre for Asia and the Pacific, draft report for UNEP Chemicals, 15 November 2009. BREF (2001) – “IPPC Reference Document on Best Available Techniques in the Chlor-Alkali Manufacturing Industry,” European IPPC Bureau, Institute for Prospective Technological Studies, European Commission Joint Research Centre, Seville, December 2001. Cain (2007) – A Cain, S Disch, C Twaroski, J Reindl and CR Case, “Substance Flow Analysis of Mercury Intentionally Used in Products in the United States,” Journal of Industrial Ecology, Volume 11, Number 3, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Yale University. Eco-Accord (2008) – “The Problem of Environmental Contamination by Cadmium, Lead and Mercury in Russia and Ukraine: A Survey,” Eco-Accord Center for Environment and Sustainable Development, Moscow. European Commission (2008) – “Options for reducing mercury use in products and applications, and the fate of mercury already circulating in society,” COWI A/S and Concorde East/West Sprl for the Commission of the European Communities, September 2008, Brussels. Hylander & Herbert (2008) – LD Hylander and RB Herbert, "Global Emission and Production of Mercury during the Pyrometallurgical Extraction of Nonferrous Sulfide Ores," Environ. Sci. Technol. 42, 5971– 5977. Ilyushchenko (2010) – MA Ilyushchenko, Almaty Institute of Power Engineering and Telecommunication, Almaty, Republic of Kazakhstan, communications with the author, 2009-2010. ILZRO (2004) – “World Directory 2003: Primary and Secondary Zinc Plants,” International Lead and Zinc Research Organization (ILZRO). ILZSG (2006) – Lead and Zinc Statistics, Monthly bulletin of the International Lead and Zinc Study Group, Vol 46 No 2, February 2006, Lisbon. ILZSG (2008) – B Galovic, “Recent Developments and Outlook of the Russian Zinc Sector,” presentation at the 53rd Session of ILZSG, October 2008, Lisbon, Portugal. IMSG (2008) – “Metals Despatch,” Newsletter of the International Metals Study Groups, Issue No. 5, June 2008. ISTC (2009) – “ISTC Science Workshop at the International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant” (ICMGP 2009), International Science & Technology Center, Special Session SpS12, 7- 12 June 2009, Guiyang, China. MPP (2008) – “Mercury Rising: Reducing global emissions from burning mercury-added products,” report prepared by Concorde East/West Sprl for the Mercury Policy Project, February 2008. NRDC (2007) – “Mercury Releases from Industrial Ore Processing,” Natural Resources Defense Council, Washington, DC, June 2007. Puminov et al. (1999) – YA Puminov, VV Reshetov and NR Mashiyanov, “Specific Features of Mercury Deposition in St. Petersburg,” Proceedings of the Third Theoretical and Practical Conference – Mercury: A Comprehensive Safety System, St. Petersburg. SRIC (2005) – E Linak, S Schlag and K Yokose, “Chlorine/Sodium Hydroxide,” CEH Marketing Research Report, SRI Consulting, Zurich, August 2005. Telmer (2008) – Personal communications with experts Telmer (School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of Victoria, Canada), Veiga and Spiegel (both with the Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering, University of British Columbia, Canada) – all involved in the UNIDO/UNDP/GEF Global Mercury Project.


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Telmer and Veiga (2008) – K Telmer and M Veiga, “World emissions of mercury from artisanal and small scale gold mining and the knowledge gaps about them,” Final draft, paper prepared for UNEP FT, Rome, 23 May 2008. UNEP (2002) – “Global Mercury Assessment.” United Nations Environment Programme, Chemicals Branch, Geneva, December 2002. Available in English, French and Spanish at http://www.chem.unep.ch/mercury/. UNEP (2004) – “Regional Awareness-Raising Workshop on Mercury Pollution: A global problem that needs to be addressed,” Kiev, Ukraine, 20-23 July 2004, organized by United Nations Environment Programme – Chemicals, together with the Inter-Organization Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals, Geneva, November 2004. UNEP (2005) – “Regional Awareness-Raising Workshop on Mercury Pollution: A global problem that needs to be addressed,” UNEP workshop18–21 January 2005 in Port-of-Spain (Trinidad), InterOrganisation Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals, UNEP Chemicals, Geneva. UNEP (2006) – “Summary of supply, trade and demand information on mercury.” Report prepared by Concorde East/West Sprl in response to UNEP Governing Council decision 23/9 IV, United Nations Environment Programme – Chemicals. Geneva, November 2006. UNEP (2008a) – The challenge of meeting mercury demand without mercury mining: An assessment requested by the Ad Hoc Open-Ended Working Group on Mercury, report prepared by Concorde East/West Sprl for the United Nations Environment Programme – Chemicals. Geneva, November 2008. UNEP (2008b) – “Mercury-Containing Products Partnership Area Business Plan,” US Environmental Protection Agency in coordination with UNEP, Washington DC, 1 July 2008. UNEP (2010) – “UNEP Paragraph 29 Study on mercury-emitting sources, including emissions trends and cost and effectiveness of alternative control measures,” Zero Draft report, United Nations Environment Programme – Chemicals Branch, DTIE, Geneva, 4 March 2010. UNEP/GRID (2008) – “Environmental Issues Related to Primary Mercury Mining in Kyrgyzstan,” UNEP/GRID-Arendal, Geneva, September 2008. USEPA (2010) – Meeting Summary, UNEP Global Mercury Partnership Chlor-Alkali Area Teleconference, 18 March 2010, 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon EST WCC (2006) – “Submission [to UNEP] on Global Mercury Partnership for the Reduction of Mercury in the Chlor-alkali Sector,” World Chlorine Council, undated, no address, see http://www.worldchlorine.com


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Appendix – Major mercury contaminated sites in EECA (incomplete listing)

Country

Industry type

Site location

Site Hg contamination (tonnes)

Presently operating?

Albania

Chlor-alkali

not identified

not available

unknown

Chlor-alkali

Sumgait City/ PO "Khimprom"

1300

yes

Bosnia Herzegovina

Chlor-alkali

Banja Luka/ Incel (Fabrika Celuloze i Viskose)

not available

unknown

Mercury-cell plant of ~37,000 tonnes capacity.

Bosnia Herzegovina

Chlor-alkali

not available

unknown

Mercury-cell plant of ~37,000 tonnes capacity.

Bosnia Herzegovina

Chlor-alkali

not available

unknown

Mercury-cell plant of ~12,000 tonnes capacity.

Croatia

Chlor-alkali

Krk Island/ INA Petrokemija Omisalj

not available

unknown

Mercury-cell plant of ~30,000 tonnes capacity.

Croatia

Chlor-alkali

Kaštel Sućurac, Dalmatia/ Jugovinil

not available

unknown

Croatia

Vinyl chloride monomer

Kaštel Sućurac, Dalmatia/ Jugovinil

not available

unknown

Croatia

Vinyl chloride monomer

Split, Dalmatia/ Jugovinil

not available

unknown

Comments

Mercury-cell plant of ~10,000 tonnes capacity remains to be confirmed.

Armenia Azerbaijan

Mercury-cell plant. Ref. http://HgPavlodar.narod.ru

Belarus

Georgia

Lukavac, nr. Tuzla/ Fabrika Soda Lukavac Jajce/ Elektrobosna Elektrokemijska Industrija

Mercury-cell plant of ~15,000 tonnes capacity. Mercuric chloride catalyst used to achieve ~3,600 tonnes VCM production capacity. Mercuric chloride catalyst used to achieve ~10.000 tonnes VCM production capacity.


Excess mercury supply in Eastern Europe and Central Asia – Final draft

Country

Industry type

Site location

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Site Hg contamination (tonnes)

Presently operating?

Kazakhstan

Acetaldehyde

Temirtau Chemical-Metallurgical Factory (PO “Karbid”)

2352

no

Kazakhstan

Chlor-alkali

Pavlodar city (PO Khimprom)/ JSC “Kaustik”

1310

no

Kyrgyzstan

Mercury mine

Khaidarkhan

extensive

yes

Comments Karaganda oblast, Kazakhstan. The year of acetaldehyde production (annual production capacity ~76,500 tonnes acetaldehyde) with Hg catalyst start-up 1950, the year of shutdown – 1997. Facilities and buildings have been dismantled. Also excavation of soils within an industrial area and in the vicinity has been carried out. All contaminated materials have been disposed at the special landfill. Mercury contaminated technogenic silt deposits along the Nura River bank have not been treated due to shortage of funds. Ref. http://Hg-Pavlodar.narod.ru Approx. capacity 110,000 tonnes chlorine/year.The year of mercury electrolysis production start-up - 1975, the year of shutdown - 1993. Facilities, buildings (have been dismantled) as well as territory (partially) has been demercurized; new chlor-alkali production of smaller capacity based on a membrane method is being set up in other production premises. Ref. http://Hg-Pavlodar.narod.ru Antimony-fluorspar-mercury mined from the Bol'shoy Khaidarkan, Chauvi, Chonkoy, Khaidarkan, and Novoye deposits. Typical mine production 300400 tonnes per year, plus (in some years) some recovery of mercury from wastes generated by other industries. Total mine production estimated at ~40,000 tonnes.


Excess mercury supply in Eastern Europe and Central Asia – Final draft

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Site Hg contamination (tonnes)

Presently operating?

Skopje

not available

unknown

Vinyl chloride monomer

Skopje/ Naum Naumowski Borce

not available

unknown

Vinyl chloride monomer

Skopje/ Ork. Chem. Ind.

not available

unknown

Country

Industry type

Site location

Macedonia (TFYR)

Chlor-alkali

Macedonia (TFYR)

Macedonia (TFYR)

Comments Mercury-cell plant of ~10,000 tonnes capacity remains to be confirmed. Mercuric chloride catalyst used to achieve ~5,400 tonnes VCM production capacity. Mercuric chloride catalyst used to achieve ~50,000 tonnes VCM production capacity.

Republic of Moldova

Russian Federation

Riboflavin

Belgorod city/ JSC «Belvitamins»

2-7 tonnes Hg in wastes

no

Russian Federation

Riboflavin

Bolokhov/ JSC «Sintvita»

2-6 tonnes Hg in wastes

no

Russian Federation

Chlor-alkali

Sterlitamal City, Bashkortostan/ JSC "Kaustic"

1300

yes

Russian Federation

Chlor-alkali

Volgograd City/ JSC "Kaustic"

1700

yes

Russian Federation

Chlor-alkali

Kirovo-Chepetsk/ JSC "Kirovo-Chepetskiy Chemical Co."

1600

yes

ACAP reported the situation when plant closed in 1998-9. This plant used to recycle (some) mercury waste, according to EcoAccord. Wastes may have by now been recycled or disposed of. ACAP reported the situation when plant closed in 1998-9. Wastes may have by now been recycled or disposed of. Still in operation. Ref. http://HgPavlodar.narod.ru. This plant used to recycle (some) mercury waste, according to EcoAccord. Still in operation. Ref. http://HgPavlodar.narod.ru. This plant used to recycle (some) mercury waste, according to EcoAccord. Still in operation. Ref. http://HgPavlodar.narod.ru


Excess mercury supply in Eastern Europe and Central Asia – Final draft

Country

Industry type

Site location

Page 44

Site Hg contamination (tonnes)

Presently operating?

Russian Federation

Chlor-alkali

Sayansk City (Ziminskiy Chem. Plant)/ JSC "Sayanskchimplast"

1400

no

Russian Federation

Chlor-alkali

Novosibirsk city/ Factory of chemical concentrates

1000

no

Russian Federation

Chlor-alkali

Usolye Sibirskoe city/ JSC “Usolyekhimprom”

1100

no

Russian Federation

Chlor-alkali

Dzerzhinsk town/ PO “Kaprolaktam”

100

no

Russian Federation

Chlor-alkali

Novodvinsk town/ Arkhangelskiy

170

no

Comments Irkutskaya oblast, Russia. Approx. capacity 135,000 tonnes chlorine/year. The year of mercury electrolysis production start-up - 1979, the year of shutdown - 2006. Facilities and buildings have been demercurized, new chloralkali production of smaller capacity based on the membrane method operates in the same production premises. Ref. http://HgPavlodar.narod.ru Approx. capacity 180,000 tonnes chlorine/year. The year of mercury electrolysis production shutdown - 2006. Facilities and buildings have been demercurized, new chlor-alkali production of smaller capacity based on a membrane method is being set up in the same production premises. Ref. http://Hg-Pavlodar.narod.ru Irkutskaya oblast, Russia. Approx. capacity 100,000 tonnes chlorine/year. The year of mercury electrolysis production start-up - 1970, the year of shutdown – 1998. This plant used to recycle (some) mercury waste, according to EcoAccord. Plans for demercurization of buildings and surroundings have been prepared. Ref. http://Hg-Pavlodar.narod.ru Nizhegorodskaya oblast (start-up – 1948, shutdown – 1982) – 10 000 tonnes/year, pulp and paper mill Arkhangelskaya oblast (start-up – 1962, shutdown – 1996) – 16400 tonnes/year, pulp and paper mill


Excess mercury supply in Eastern Europe and Central Asia – Final draft

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Site Hg contamination (tonnes)

Presently operating?

Svetogorsk town/ Svetogorskiy

60

no

Chlor-alkali

Koryazhma town/ Kotlasskiy

190

no

Russian Federation

Chlor-alkali

Komsomolsk-na-Amure city/ Amurskiy

90

no

Russian Federation

Hg recycling/recovery

CJSC Kubantsvetmet

not available

Russian Federation

Vinyl chloride monomer

Dierjinsk/ Techmashimport

not available

no

Russian Federation

Vinyl chloride monomer

Gorki/ Techmashimport

not available

no

Russian Federation

Vinyl chloride monomer

Volgograd City/ OJSC Plastkard

not available

yes

Russian Federation

Vinyl chloride monomer

Azot, Tula oblast/ OJSC Novomoskovsk Jointstock Company

not available

yes

Russian Federation

Vinyl chloride monomer

Volgograd City/ OJSC “Khimprom

not available

yes

Russian Federation

Vinyl chloride monomer

Usolye Sibirskoe city/ JSC “Usolyekhimprom”

not available

yes

Country

Industry type

Site location

Russian Federation

Chlor-alkali

Russian Federation

Comments Leningradskaya oblast (start-up – 1951, shutdown – 1993) – 1300 tonnes/year, pulp and paper mill Arkhangelskaya oblast (start-up – 1964, shutdown – 1998) – 19600 tonnes/year, pulp and paper mill. Kotlasskiy plant was dismantled, buildings were demercurized, mercury wastes and heavily contaminated facilities were landfilled; at present chlor-alkali production of the same capacity operates based on a membrane method. Khabarovskiy kray (start-up – 1970, shutdown – 1997) – 7400 tonnes/year, pulp and paper mill Mercuric chloride catalyst used to achieve ~30,000 tonnes VCM production capacity. Mercuric chloride catalyst used to achieve ~31,000 tonnes VCM production capacity. Mercuric chloride catalyst used to achieve ~68,000 tonnes VCM production capacity. Mercuric chloride catalyst used to achieve ~45,000 tonnes VCM production capacity. Mercuric chloride catalyst used to achieve ~27,000 tonnes VCM production capacity. Mercuric chloride catalyst used to achieve ~26,000 tonnes VCM production capacity.


Excess mercury supply in Eastern Europe and Central Asia – Final draft

Country

Industry type

Site location

Page 46

Site Hg contamination (tonnes)

Presently operating?

Russian Federation

Mercury mine(s)

Diverse

not available

no

Russian Federation

Pesticides

Altaiskiy Krai

98 tonnes of pesticide

not applicable

Russian Federation

Pesticides

Krasnoyarskiy Krai

6.6 tonnes of pesticide

not applicable

Russian Federation

Pesticides

Kurgan Oblast

2.3 tonnes of pesticide

not applicable

Russian Federation

Pesticides

Omsk Oblast

33 tonnes of pesticide

not applicable

Russian Federation

Pesticides

Tyumen Oblast

8.7 tonnes of pesticide

not applicable

Comments Total cumulative mine production estimated at ~60,000 tonnes. Primary mercury mines are no longer in operation (Danish EPA 2005). As of 2004, facilities storing banned mercury-containing seed protectants (e.g. ethyl mercury chloride) such as granozan M, granozan – the most common, and ceresan M (ref. EcoAccord). As of 2004, facilities storing banned mercury-containing seed protectants (e.g. ethyl mercury chloride) such as granozan M, granozan – the most common, and ceresan M (ref. EcoAccord). As of 2004, facilities storing banned mercury-containing seed protectants (e.g. ethyl mercury chloride) such as granozan M, granozan – the most common, and ceresan M (ref. EcoAccord). As of 2004, facilities storing banned mercury-containing seed protectants (e.g. ethyl mercury chloride) such as granozan M, granozan – the most common, and ceresan M (ref. EcoAccord). As of 2004, facilities storing banned mercury-containing seed protectants (e.g. ethyl mercury chloride) such as granozan M, granozan – the most common, and ceresan M (ref. EcoAccord).


Excess mercury supply in Eastern Europe and Central Asia – Final draft

Country

Industry type

Site location

Russian Federation

Diverse "mercury technologies"

Novomoskovsk, Chelyabinsk, Belgorod, Smolensk, Cheboksary, Norilsk, Vladikavkaz, Dzerzinsk (Nizniy Novgorod Oblast), Murom (Vladimir Oblast), Bolokhov (Tula Oblast), Golynki township (Rudnyanskiy district of Smolensk Oblast), Krasniy Bor township of Leningradskiy Oblast

Serbia and Montenegro

Chlor-alkali

Serbia and Montenegro

Page 47

Site Hg contamination (tonnes)

Presently operating?

Comments

Geographical locations of significantly polluting industrial plants and other production facilities using mercury (ref. EcoAccord).

details unknown

diverse

Krusevac/ Kemijska Industri Zupa

not available

unknown

Mercury-cell plant of ~8,000 tonnes capacity.

Chlor-alkali

Ivangrad/ Fabrik Sulfur & Celuloze

not available

unknown

Mercury-cell plant of 5,000-15,000 tonnes capacity.

Serbia and Montenegro

Chlor-alkali

Pancevo/ Hemiijska Industrija Pancevo

not available

unknown

Mercury-cell plant of ~115,000 tonnes capacity.

Serbia and Montenegro

Chlor-alkali

Mitrovica/ Srenska Mitrovica

not available

unknown

Mercury-cell plant of ~9,000 tonnes capacity.

Tajikistan

Antimony-mercury mine

Anzob mining and beneficiation complex

not available

yes

Dzhizhikrutskoye deposit. Total mercury production estimated at ~10,000 tonnes (Danish EPA 2005).

no

Approx. capacity 54,000 tonnes chlorine/year.The year of mercury electrolysis production start-up - 1954, the year of shutdown - 1996. The production has been closed down. Facilities have been dismantled. Feasibility study for demercurization of buildings and surroundings has been prepared. Ref. http://HgPavlodar.narod.ru

Turkmenistan

Ukraine

Chlor-alkali

Kiev city (Chemicals Plant)/ JSC “Radikal”

900


Excess mercury supply in Eastern Europe and Central Asia â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Final draft

Country

Industry type

Ukraine

Chlor-alkali

Ukraine

Hg recycling/recovery

Ukraine

Mercury mine(s)

Site location

Gorlovka town/ Nikitovskiy mercury factory

Page 48

Site Hg contamination (tonnes)

Presently operating?

not available

no

not available

yes

not available

Comments Mercury-cell plant of ~10,000 tonnes capacity remains to be confirmed (ref. ACAP). The Nikitovskiy mining and metallurgical complex in Donets'ka Oblast' generated up to 400 tonnes of secondary mercury of high quality per annum until the early 1990s (Danish Report, DEPA 2005). Total mine production estimated at more than 35,000 tonnes Hg. Primary mercury mines are no longer in operation (Danish EPA 2005).

Uzbekistan

Turkey

Chlor-alkali

Derince/ Koruma Klor Alkali Sanayi

not available

no

Turkey

Vinyl chloride monomer

Galata/ Aga Sirketi

not available

unknown

Mercury-cell plant of ~80,000 tonnes capacity. Management agreed with the Trade Union of Petroleum Workers to change the system to mercury-free and converted to membrane-cells in 20002001. VCM production plant of unknown capacity remains to be confirmed.


Assessment of Excess of Mercury Supply in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, 2010-2050