In 2004 GEUS was awarded a World Bank financed project to conduct a baseline survey of artisanal and small scale mining in Kyrgyzstan and to assist the Bank task manager to produce distance learning courses on this topic. GEUS subcontracted part of the work to Community Business Forum (CBF), an NGO enterprise based in Bishkek the capital of Kyrgyzstan.
The project involved visits to a large number of small-scale mining sites with detailed discussions with the small-scale miners. A large part of the small-scale miners user mercury to extract placer as well as hard rock gold. Most of them were aware of the dangers of using mercury, but could not see how they could avoid using it. Very few had ever heard about the possibilities of recycling mercury.
Detailed questionnaires were distributed in several small-scale mining districts by CFB. Teaching and training courses for small-scale miners were held in villages as well as in Bishkek.