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INDONESIA, ROMANIA, GHANA, MONTANA, NEVADA
Behind Every Great Fortune
Is A Great Crime
The Environmental Cost of Gold Mining | Mother Jones
Mining companies now widely use a process called "heap-leaching". Gold is chemically extracted from great
huge piles of low-grade ore using a sodium cyanide. Mountains are "dismembered" rather than mined. Massive amounts of cyanide must be used. One ounce of gold can come from 25 tons of mined "ore" (dirt and boulders). The environmental damage caused by gold mining is terrible. The cyanide remants in solution are placed in ponds and later recycled. The
cyanide inevitablly leaks out and gets into the streams and water table. It's more than cyanide people worry about. "There's not a mine company out there that's going to tell you how much mercury they process," said Earl Brooks, a USGS mercury commodities specialist. "It's an environmental pariah." There are other methods of to extracting gold from low-grade ore, but the gold-mining industry keeps using this technique because cyanide is cheap and effective. Montana banned it, for example,
in 1998. But the Republican legislature is trying to make it legal again. See Frontline Report
A single ring, made with 1/3 ounce 18 K gold requires 20 tons of waste and 13 pounds of arsenic
and mercury. NEM crushes and then must dispose of a billion tons of rock a year. Accidents and leakage
are ineviable. "n 2005, Route 766 in Nevada was partially buried by an avalanche involving 10 million tons of waste
from a Newmont mine. In Romania, more than 100,000 tons of toxic waste spilled from the Aurul gold mine in 2000, contaminating the drinking water of 2.5 million people and killing at least 1200 tons of fish. In 2002, the Bush
administration changed regulations to allow mine and other industrial waste to be dumped in waterways."
Arsenic poisoning" is a medical condition caused by increased levels of the element arsenic in the body. Arsenic interferes with cellular longevity by allosteric inhibition of an essential metabolic enzyme. Symptoms of arsenic poisoning include headache, confusion, convulsion, diarrhea, vomiting, and in severe cases coma and death. Routes of exposure include contaminated water, air, and food. Occupational exposure to arsenic may occur with copper or lead smelting and wood treatment and among workers involved in the production or application of pesticides. Symptoms of arsenic poisoning begin with headaches, confusion, severe diarrhea, and drowsiness. As the poisoning develops, convulsions and changes in fingernail pigmentation called leukonychia may occur. When the poisoning becomes acute, symptoms may include diarrhea, vomiting, blood in the urine, cramping muscles, hair loss, stomach pain, and more convulsions. The organs of the body that are usually affected by arsenic poisoning are the lungs, skin, kidneys, and liver. The final result of arsenic poisoning is coma to death. Arsenic is related to heart disease (hypertension related cardiovascular), cancer, stroke (cerebrovascular diseases), chronic lower respiratory diseases, and diabetes.
NEM gets PERU GOV'T TO BAN PROTESTS AGAINST THEIR POISONING
AP - "Peru's President Ollanta Humala declared a 60-day state of emergency Sunday in a northern region torn
by more than a week of protests against a highlands gold mine, the country's biggest investment, by peasants who fear for their water supply. The emergency restricts civil liberties such as the right to assembly and allows arrests without warrants in four provinces of Cajamarca state that have been paralyzed for 11 days by increasingly violent protests against the $4.8-billion Conga gold and copper mining project. U.S.-based Newmont Mining Corp. is the project's majority owner.
"Dozens have been injured in clashes between
police and protesters, some of whom have vandalized Conga property.Humala said in a brief
televised address Sunday night that protest leaders had shown no interest "in
reaching minimal agreements to permit a return of social peace" after a day of talks
in Cajamarca with Cabinet chief
Salmon Lerner and three other ministers.
"Local elected officials in Cajamarca, including the state's governor, have led protests against Conga, an extension of the nearby Yanacocha mine, for more than a month. They say they fear it will taint and diminish water supplies affecting thousands and have demanded a new study of the environmental impact of the mine, which was scheduled to begin production in 2015.
"Government officials have expressed no intention of redoing Conga's environmental impact study, which was approved by the Ministry of Mining in October 2010. Those plans call for displacing four lakes more than two miles high and replacing them with reservoirs. Local residents say they fear that could affect an important acquifer on which thousands depend.
"Humala told Cajamarca during campaign swings before his June election that clean water was more important for him than gold. Many local inhabitants said they now feel betrayed by the president. Peru's economy depends heavily on mining, which accounts for 61 percent of its export income."
"Yep, mining destroys water tables and pollutes everything around them. They have every right to protest...
You can live without Gold and Gas, but you cannot live without water."
"The US ambassador praised the Peruvian government for ignoring the will of the people, what democracy
is this that we are pretending to spread?"
"Cyanide is used in the gold business to separate gold from other minerals. It doesn't just ''go away'' and is one of the most toxic poisons known to man. I would be very concerned."
"The mine uses a cyanide leach process that leaves a lake of poison. These lakes have drained into river systems before with disastrous results ".
"Parts of Reno must have their water piped in, due to cyanide used in mining the gold mines".
"looks like everyone around the world has had enuff of the billionaires #$%$"
".it would appear that the peruvian government is on the mining company payroll!!
"Different country, same story as in USA: Politicians protecting big business at the expense of Joe average."
"Democracy is wonderful as long as it doesn't stand in the way of corporate profit."
"The people are protesting because there is a precedent by this company in Yanacocha, where they polluted the water supply so badly what used to be acres of arable land are now desert after 10 years."
"Ollanta eres un vendío. Maldita tu casa en la raza."
"This is GREAT. I just read a page of posts and EVERY one of them was intelligent to genial (as they say in Spanish for genius). You guys rock!!! It's amazing how different it can be from one article to the next. Still this page of comments gives me faith in humanity that we can overcome anything,"
George III died of arsenic poisoning.
|Napoleon died of arsenic poisoning.||
Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria
2/14/2008THE ENVIRONMENTAL COSTS OF GOLD MINING ARE VERY HIGH. http://tigersoftware.com/TigerBlogs/10-18-2010a/Index.html
GOLD HAS BEEN A MUCH BETTER INVESTMENT
Why? ... There's always the threat of nationalization, as in Uzbekhistan. Here
insiders at NEM would have a huge advantage, because they would know of this first.
Most important, production costs at NEM are rising steeply, on a percentage basis,
faster than the price of gold. In all of 2010, it cost NEM $260 to produce an ounce of
gold that they marketed for $1150/ounce. In the last quarter of 2011, it cost more than $500
which they sold for $1366/ounce. In addition, they warned that their Batu Hijau Indonesian
mine would bring them less revenue, due to the Indonesian government's decision to
penalize them for past pattern of massive pollution.
Bribing public officials is expensive, too. So, is paying for security when
thousands of locals protest your presence. Spying on environmentalists is not
cheap. Factor in work stoppages and the need for regular PR campaigns. Not
to mention high executive pay and bonuses.
Newmont's Gold Mining Brings Protests All over the World:
Widespread Environmental Degradation and Health Hazards
Someone buying NEM at 60 in 1996, would see his stock up only 10% 15 years later!