Policies & Issues

IGI’s Avi Levy Joins Board of Mercury-Free Mining

Policies & IssuesAug 26, 2021

IGI’s Avi Levy Joins Board of Mercury-Free Mining

The head of IGI’s North American operations will join the organization in its mission of eradicating the use of mercury in gold mining.

Avi Levy, IGI’s president of North America, has joined the board of directors of Mercury-Free Mining Inc.
New York—Mercury-Free Mining Inc. has appointed Avi Levy, the International Gemological Institute’s president of North America, to its board of directors, the organization announced Monday.

Levy has more than 30 years’ experience in the jewelry industry and has been heading IGI’s North American operations since 2019

He joins the MFM board to aid the organization in its mission of eliminating the use of mercury in gold mining through education and research that explores alternative methods, and enhancing the public’s trust in the jewelry industry’s gold supply chain. 

Mercury is toxic to the environment and can negatively affect the long-term health of those exposed, including miners, women who may become pregnant, developing fetuses, infants, and youth who have developing nervous systems.

Jewelry designer Toby Pomeroy founded Mercury-Free Mining in 2017. He now serves as MFM’s executive director. 

Commenting on Levy’s appointment, Pomeroy said: “It is thrilling for me to witness the jewelry industry coming together to address the centuries-old problem of mercury pollution from gold mining. 

“It is extraordinary to see leaders of an industry dedicating their time, energies, and money to the eradicating of mercury use in mining, contributing to the well-being of 20 million miners, their families, and our environment.” 

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Levy said at IGI, they are well aware of the importance of the gemological community taking steps to protect the environment.

“As we learn more every day about the threat climate change poses to our planet, we at IGI know … it is crucial the gemological community restores the environment and combats pollution,” he said.

“As a lifelong learner, I am inspired by sustainable advances being made within the sector and happy to be collaborating with Mercury-Free Mining as a board member and be part of the solution. IGI is constantly focused on identifying opportunities for engagement in worthwhile initiatives and aspires to lead others to do the same.”

Miners have used mercury for thousands of years to concentrate gold and continue to employ the potent neurotoxin because no easy, affordable, safe, and efficient alternatives are available to them.

According to the United Nations Environment Program, 37 percent of the world’s mercury emissions are the result of artisanal and small-scale gold mining.

To learn more about MFM and its mission to eliminate the use of mercury in mining, visit the organization’s website.

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