Goldmine in Ghana Nature destroyed for a gold mine in Ghana (© Fian Deutschland e.V.)

The romantic notion of gold prospecting has little in common with today’s mining operations. Find out about the environmental cost of our lust for gold – and what we can do to stop the insanity.

Few commodities provoke as much controversy as gold. The gleaming precious metal has always been a symbol of wealth and prosperity. The weakness of the dollar and the global financial crisis sent the price of gold soaring: In early 2008, the price for an ounce exceeded $1,000 for the first time. But gold mining is a dirty business that causes severe harm to the environment. Modern gold mining violates human rights and leaves devastated landscapes, lasting environmental damage and social problems in its wake.

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Cyanide: Cyanide is a highly toxic chemical used to dissolve gold from rock. When exposed to air, rock treated with cyanide forms acids that eat their way through the subsoil over time, ultimately polluting the groundwater.

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A colorful mural of plants and an indigenous woman on the walls of a small building with the inscription: “Let’s defend the water without fear” Activists painted this building, writing “Let’s defend the water without fear” (© Accion Ecológica)

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Ecuador: Stop the mining industry’s violence against women!

Alba Bermeo Puin was five months pregnant when she and her unborn child were killed by gunmen on October 22. She leaves her family and community in a state of deep shock and grief. This is the third recent attack on women resisting mining in the province of Azuay.

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To: the Ecuadorian National Assembly, public prosecutor, Constitutional Court and the governorship of Azuay Province

“Stop mining violence immediately – justice for Alba Bermeo Puin – the Ecuadorian state must take responsibility and act”

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