Job Opening

Posting Title: Consultant on artisanal and small-scale gold mining tailings management
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 17 June 2020 - 07 July 2020
Job Opening Number: 20-United Nations Environment Programme-137092-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

The consultant is expected to develop sections of the technical document on tailings management for ASGM, through the following:
•Collection / compilation of relevant literature and information on tailings management, including topics such as tailings characterization, storage and impoundment, gold and mercury recovery, cyanide leaching, reclamation and monitoring, legal aspects and governance, public disclosure and community engagement;
•Drafting of sections of the technical document based on the above desk review and consultations with UNEP, Minamata Convention Secretariat and GMP;
•Provide support to the update of the NAP guidance document based on the produced technical document and feedback received from the Parties and other experts.

Work Location


Expected duration

Overall duration is 40 days from 01 August 2020 to 31 March 2021 with possible review

Duties and Responsibilities

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental
authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of
the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system
and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment. The Minamata Convention
on Mercury is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from the adverse
effects of mercury. The Convention was adopted in Kumamoto, Japan in 2013 and came into
effect in 2017. The Secretariat functions of the Convention are performed by the UNEP. This
post is located in the Secretariat of the Minamata Convention in Geneva.

Under the supervision of the Minamata Convention Secretariat and UNEP Chemicals and Health Branch, the consultant will perform the following tasks:

(1)Collection of relevant information on tailings management, including topics such as:
a.Safe storage and disposal of tailings, including: characterization of potential contaminants in the tailings and their risks, in-situ and ex-situ options for safe storage/disposal, and considerations for design and construction of tailings storage facilities in the context of ASGM;
b.Gold recovery and mercury removal from tailings, including: overview of the mercury-cyanide interactions, options for mercury removal form tailings, cyanidation process description in the context of ASGM, considerations for safe use of cyanide, and adopting the Cyanide Code to the ASGM context and optimization of the process;
c.Reclamation and monitoring, including: options for ecological restoration, e.g. reforestation, revegetation and options for sustainable and effective mapping and monitoring of the tailings;
d.Legal aspects and governance, including; the division of roles and accountability to ensure sustainability of the interventions and tailings storage solutions in the context of ASGM;
e.Information sharing and communities engagement, including: access to information and engagement of local communities regarding ASGM tailings, community based remediation plans, associated risk and impacts, communicating risks to affected communities, facility management and performance monitoring.
(2)Consultation with experts contributing to the process
Participate in the consultations with experts under the auspice of GMP.
(3)Drafting the sections for the technical document on tailings
Develop a first draft of the selected chapters of the technical document on tailings.
(4) Finalizing the sections of the technical document based on comments
Review the comments received as a result of the consultation process, revise the draft and finalize the sections of the technical document.
(5)Support the review and update of the NAP guidance document.

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualifications: An advanced university degree in environmental sciences, geology, mining, physical sciences or related field. A bachelor degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying working experience in a related field may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
Experience: At least seven years of experience in the field of environmental or physical sciences, which include technical experience working with the ASGM sector, with a focus on environmental and technical aspects of mining operations. Experience working on mine tailings management is an advantage. The applicant is requested to include in the cover note of his/her Personal History Profile a short description of how his/her experience will contribute to the work, and his/her planned approach for completing the task.
Language: Fluency in English, including strong drafting/writing skills is essential.

Additional Information

The consultant will report to The Senior Programme Officer, Secretariat of the Minamata Convention and The Programme Management Officer, UNEP Chemicals and Health Branch.

No Fee


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