Initially, the Akan people mostly were engaged in the slave trade and thus were a major key player in the transatlantic trade which was highly based on slavery. However, they later engaged in gold mining which became a lucrative business and a major economic activity among them.
Mercury, a liquid metal, is used in artisanal and smallscale gold mining to extract gold from rock and sediment. Unfortunately, mercury is a toxic substance that wreaks havoc on miners' health, not to mention the health of the planet. For every gram of gold produced, artisanal gold miners release about two grams of mercury into the environment.