Water depletion is a major negative consequence of gold mining. The large amount of water required to run a gold mining operation exacerbates its impact on local communities, many of which are already experiencing drought.
|Acid Mine Drainage|
Open pit mining creates great waste for a small yield. On average, it takes 79 tons of waste to extract one ounce of gold, according to a conservative estimate by the No Dirty Gold campaign, a project of EarthWorks and Oxfam. The process involves grinding up ore, and then exposing it to cyanide in order to extract the gold. Sulfides in the crushed rocks interact with air and water to create sulfuric acid, which in turn creates acid mine drainage (AMD). In and of itself, AMD is harmful to ecosystems because it makes water too acidic to support life. Additionally, the sulfuric acid in AMD leaches out other substances from the waste ore, such as arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury, which can have disastrous health effects, and can contaminate both air and water. Gold mining has been linked to 96 percent of the world’s arsenic emissions.
Cyanide is the chemical-of-choice for mining companies to extract gold from crushed ore, despite the fact that leaks or spills of this chemical are extremely toxic to fish, plant life and human beings. Cyanide is a deadly chemical, used in the gas chambers of the Second World War and on death row in the United States between 1930-1980. The chemical has caused havoc in water systems across the world with over 30 spills in the last five years.
|Papua New Guinea landowner testimonies|
by David Martinez, PNG interviews August 2006
Testimony from principal landowners near Barrick's Porgera mine. Interviews by David Martinez, August 2007. Includes video.
|CHILE INTELLIGENCE AGENCY MONITORS ENVIRONMENTAL NGOS|
by Matt Malinowski, La Tercera via The Santiago Times
December 10th, 2007
Environmental Activists Alarmed, But Not Surprised About The News
|Shoshone Use Film, Courts to Fight Gold Mine on Sacred Land|
by Lisa J. Wolf, Environmental News Service
December 6th, 2007
The 32nd Annual American Indian Film Festival presented Western Shoshone grandmother Carrie Dann with the Eagle Spirit award for best overall contribution in American Indian cinema at an awards ceremony November 27. "Our Land, Our Life," the film that shows the Western Shoshones’ determined struggle to maintain their way of life, won the festival's Best Documentary award.
|United Nations Human Rights Commission Official Complaint|
by Catherine Coumans, on behalf of Akali Tange Association, http://porgeraalliance.net/
December 2nd, 2007
|PEAK MINERALS: Ground breaking report warns of resource depletion.|
In an Australian first, mining data from as far back as 1829 has been collected and analysed by Monash University academic, Dr Gavin Mudd in conjunction with the Mineral Policy Institute to determine the long term sustainability of a range of Australia’s mineral resources.
|CHILE: PASCUA LAMA OPPOSITION REVIVES DURING SATURDAY MARCH|
by Trey Pollard , Santiago Times
October 29th, 2007
Opponents of the Pascua Lama gold mine took to the streets of Santiago on Saturday to raise public awareness about the US$1.4 billion project that, they claim, will have terrible long-term effects on Chile's environment. Although environmental authorities have already approved the project, protesters said their continued resistance can halt the completion of construction. The noisy and vibrant procession of approximately four hundred protesters weaved its way through the bustling pedestrian streets of central Santiago, led by demonstrators hoisting a banner with a simple message: “No to Pascua Lama.”
|La Iglesia y la Comunidad del Valle del Huasco reafirman su compromiso por la Vida y contra la depredación minera|
by Luis Manuel Claps
August 15th, 2007
El 15 de agosto, las comunidades del Valle del Huasco se reunieron para celebrar a la Virgen Nuestra Señora del Tránsito, pero esta vez la fiesta centenaria, estuvo atravesada por una Caminata por la Vida, que denunció los atropellos de la gran minería y defendió la identidad agrícola del Valle.
|IT AIN'T EASY BEING GREEN, AL|
by John DeSio, New York Press
Last week Gore came under fire after it was revealed that Barrick Gold was to be a sponsor of his upcoming trip to Santiago, Chile, to discuss climate change. Barrick Gold is a mining company of some controversy in Chile, and leaders there worried that having such a dirty company sponsor such a clean event would make Gore look like a hypocrite, and make a mockery of the entire event.
|Donlin prospect has Bethel considering ban on cyanide|
by Elizabeth Bluemink, Anchorage Daily News
A Western Alaska town is considering barricading itself against a notorious chemical used in mining.
|Open letter to Annual General Meeting of Shareholders and Directors of Barrick Gold in Toronto - May 2, 2007|
Open letter to Annual General Meeting of Shareholders and Directors of Barrick Gold in Toronto - May 2, 2007
|Testimony of Neville ‘Chappy’ Williams|
|Wiradjuri Elder: Kathleen Towney|
|Critique of Water Shares Agreement and Barrick's "94% approval rating": Luis Faura Cortes, Councilperson of Alto del Carmen.|
by Luís Faura Cortes
January 15th, 2007
Testimony of Luis Faura Cortes, Councilperson of Alto del Carmen, about the misleading water shares agreement between the Vigilance Junta and Barrick Gold.
|Barrick’s Gold: Canadian Mine Threatens a Chileean Watershed|
by Ricardo Acuña , Canadian Dimension
|Six Villagers Killed in Barrick's North Mara Mine|
by Tundu Lissu, Lawyers' Environmental Action Team (LEAT)
June 17th, 2006
Folks, It's bad news again. Over two weeks ago, on June 1, security guards employed by Barrick Gold Corp. at the North Mara Gold Mine in Tarime District, Northern Tanzania shot dead a villager who was alleged to have illegally entered the Mine complex.
|Philippines Orders Cleanup of Mines Before Rains|
by Dolly Aglay, REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
MANILA - The Philippines said on Tuesday it had ordered owners of two mining areas in the country to clean up and improve their infrastructures before the start of the rainy season.
|Protesters vow to continue gold mine protest|
Australian Broadcasting Corporation
April 17th, 2006
Environmentalists are continuing to picket a New South Wales gold mine over the use of cyanide, which they claim will permanently poison the local water supply.
|Officials stall on delivering water to users of contaminated wells|
by Kathy Helms, Gallup Independent
March 9th, 2006
Results of groundwater sampling conducted in September 2005 by New Mexico Environment Department and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency show contaminants in 33 of 34 residential wells sampled, including elevated levels of uranium in 21 of those wells.
|Chile Approves Glacier Gold Mine|
by Staff Writers, Agence France-Presse
February 15th, 2006
Chile Wednesday approved a controversial project by the world's leading gold producer, Barrick Gold, to tunnel for the precious metal underneath three glaciers in the northern Andes mountains.
|Scab mine workers had more severe uranium exposure|
by Kathy Helms, Gallup Independent
March 3rd, 2004
Israel Martinez used to work for at a uranium mine and mill. He made a good living nearly $10 an hour shoveling mud in the pitch ditch. Later on, he graduated to yellowcake. Now Martinez has pulmonary fibrosis. His medical records indicate it is from uranium exposure.