Gold

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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Glossary

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 red-eyed tree frog sitting on a flower The rainforests in the copper mine area are the habitat of the red-eyed tree frog (© Eduardo Estrada)

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Panama: NO to copper mining in the rainforest!

Panama is in turmoil: The government of the Central American country triggered a deep crisis of confidence by ignoring public opinion and permitting a vast copper mine in the rainforest. Tens of thousands are taking part in demonstrations, strikes and road blocks to demand that nature be preserved and the environment protected.

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To: the Government of Panama, Members of Parliament, the Supreme Court

“Contract Law 406 permitting the operation of Minera Panamá’s vast copper mine in the rainforest must be annulled.”

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