In the jungle near Laberinto Island, PERU, Feb. 8, 2007 - A miner sifts though his crew's day's work of gold, which is mixed here with mercury to separate it from the dirt and ore. Once it is clean, the mercury is burnt off, with only the gold remaining. In an effort to save money and a feeble attempt to prevent too much mercury getting into the environment, the gas is captured in the process and most of it returned for reuse. Even so, mercury contamination is the principle environmental problem brought about by artisanal Mining in the region. The indiscriminate and inefficient use of mercury for gold amalgamation, have been the cause of large quantities being lost and introduced into the environment in both liquid form or in the form of gasses. It is estimated that 70 tons a year are lost in the Madre de Dios region alone.