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Price of mercury rising faster than gold

The price of mercury has has hit a new high of $1,850/flask (76lbs) or $53.67/kg and the gold:mercury price ratio has dropped to 840 - see www.mercurywatch.org
Some part of the mercury price increase is likely due to increased demand from Artisanal and Small Scale Gold Mining (ASGM), which is booming, along with the price in gold, and is now the world's largest demand for mercury. The forthcoming export bans by the EU (2011) and the US (2013), representing a future supply squeeze, may also be contributing to the price rise. The increase in the mercury price over the last year (almost tripling from $650/flask to $1,850/flask) has actually outpaced the rise in gold prices making the relative cost of using mercury to extract gold higher. The gold:mercury price ratio is an indicator of the relative cost of using mercury to extract gold.
Overall, the price increase makes mercury more expensive for uses, legal or illegal, and will, to some degree, be an incentive for increased conservatio…