THEIR PLANET: Gold Mining And The Environment

Gold has been a valuable and popular part of the jewelry industry for centuries, but it's no secret that gold mining is hugely detrimental to the planet. Gold Mining is one of the most destructive industries in the world. It has various impacts on the environment, including the destruction of crucial ecosystems, water contamination, and polluting the environment with toxic chemicals such as mercury and cyanide. Not to mention the social issues that include the displacement of local communities and the exploitation of workers. Keep reading for a more detailed description of the tremendous impact gold mining has on the planet. 

  • Water Contamination 
  • Toxic waste is routinely dumped into rivers, lakes, streams and oceans by mining companies around the world. On the off chance that it is not dumped into these water systems, such toxins still contaminate waterways when infrastructure such as dams fail. This environmental damage affects the water we drink, and byproducts such as mercury and heavy metals work their way into the food chain and harm animals and people for generations. 

  • Air Pollution
  • Gold mines are typically large-scale operations that require a sufficient amount of heavy machinery and earth-moving vehicles. The electricity produced by burning coal and other fossil fuels in this process generates air pollution, greenhouse gasses and smog which becomes a significant environmental issue.  

  • Destruction of Habitat and Natural Areas
  • Local wildlife, habitats and important ecosystems are destroyed in the process of gold mining due to the pollution produced and the vast amount of land each mine requires. Moving massive amounts of soil and rock is usually involved with gold mining, which can also be detrimental to the surrounding wildlife habitat. Furthermore, wetlands and ponds are also destroyed by the daily operations of mining, which directly affects local communities who heavily depend on this fishery and natural habitats and resources. 

  • Use of Water 
  • An average of 60,000 - 100,000 cubic meters of water is used everyday with large scale mining projects. To put that in context, that is enough water to provide the basic water needs for a population of a large US city for over a year. 

  • Human Rights
  • In many places where gold is regularly mined, a high number of reserves are controlled by armed rebels. Those syndicates “exert strict control over the populations who live and work there, impose abusive working conditions, and viciously treat those accused of theft and other offenses (Human Rights Watch).”

    Due to the devastating environmental effects of gold mining - Their has chosen to work exclusively with recycled gold. Recycled gold is bringing new life to this metal and offsetting these environmental effects. Without compromising the quality of your jewelry, you now have the choice to shop for more sustainable alternatives to mining.

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