Behind Gold's Glitter: Torn Lands and Pointed Questions

The NY Times has a long article on the environmental cost of mining
gold. It is in the Oct. 24 edition of the New York Times.

This is worth reading as 80 % of the Gold mined is consumed in
jewelry manafacturing.

Behind Gold’s Glitter: Torn Lands and Pointed Questions [Registration Required]


The NY Times article (Monday and Tuesday 24th and 25th) is really an
eyeopener. We have been fretting about’dirty diamonds’, but the
exploitation and social and ecological damage in the mining of gold
is equal to or worse than diamond mining. You can access the articles
on the NY Times web site: nytimes. com/world. Read it and weep!


Hi Robb,

You know, I saw that article the other night at the grocery store,
and stopped to read part of it after checking out. What caught my eye
and struck me as particularly odd was the glaring ‘typo’ in the
caption under the big, splashy, full-color photo array on page one.
There, underneath the three photos that accompanied the article, was
the image of an average 14kyg wedding band, along with the supposedly
‘factual’ statement that such a ring weighs THREE OUNCES, and thus,
requires the removal of 90 tons of ore to create. Further down the
page, I came across a few more statements which, though I couldn’t
personally prove or disprove them, sounded uncomfortably different
than data I’d read elsewhere, and so, I figured that the prodigal NY
Times had just been duped into cranking-out yet another poorly
researched article by yet another journalist in a rush to meet a
deadline, then put the paper down and rolled my grocery cart out the
door. Perhaps I was way off-base in feeling and reacting as I did,
but I think there’s a pretty well-defined line between responsible
journalism and tabloid sensationalism and, IMHO, placing a story with
those kinds of glaring errors on the cover of one of the world’s
leading periodicals smears that line. As a gemcutter and formerly
avid mineral collector, I’m more than aware that the earth’s
resources are a one-time harvest, and that the processes used to
remove them are universally detrimental to the health of the planet
and those of us on it. And I’m rarely surprised when the broadcast
newsmedia chooses to hype the worst of all possible worlds and
encourage fear mongering, but when usually reliable media touchstones
like The New York Times go there…


Douglas Turet, G.J.,
Turet Design
P.O. Box 242
Avon, MA 02322-0242
Tel: (508) 586-5690
Fax: (508) 586-5677

To whom it might concern:

After reading your articles on gold mining, I would like to offer the
following There is a mining company in Columbia,
Corporacion Oro Verde, that is using sustainable techniques and is
fair trade. It operates in the Choco region of Columbia, and they
mine both gold and platinum, as they are found together in this

We are a small custom jewelry company selling via the internet. We
have been importing refined gold and platinum from Oro Verde for the
past year and a half. We are currently the only jewelers in the US
doing this even though customer response to our green gold and
platinum has been overwhelmingly positive. Hopefully, as journalists
begin to discover and report on “clean” alternatives while exposing
“dirty” gold they will bring necessary light to the various global
efforts underway in support of green mining. Utilising both
reclaimed/recycled metals and green mined materials the majority of
our gold and platinum demand could be satisfied.

Oro-Verde operates under the Foundation Amigos del Chocos (which has
other projects as well). There is an extensive network of
professionals and community leaders providing oversight and
verification to insure adherence to the requirements set out to
qualify the processes as certifiably sustainable.

Here are their web sites where you could begin your investigation.

The person(s) to contact would be Lina Villa-Cordoba or Blanca Inez

Thank you for your time.

Susan Onaclea
Miche Onaclea
Owners Sumiche Jewelry, Co.

How’s this for “greener” approach to gold mining?

Pam Chott


Interesting article. You have to sign up to read the New York Times
online, but it’s free.


To whom it might concern:

Telluride, Colorado was the scene of gold/silver/lead/zinc/tellurium
mining, from the mid-nineteenth century to about 1980. At the outset
of mining in the region, one cannot argue that environmental
protections were as stringent as they are now.

I haven’t talked to an independent, fair-minded analyst about the
dangers that may/may not linger today. What I do know is this. I
have had a summer place nearby, since 1976. The region has gone from
an relatively unknown beautiful getaway, to a very chic destination
for recreationists in all seasons.

I don’t advocate damaging her, but Mother Earth, she is quite

–Dan W