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Poisonous gold mining

I’ve recently learned alarming facts concerning my favourite metal
and its put a damper on my life’s work. Check it out: I think responsible jewelers need to be
aware and address this problem. Is it feasible to only work in
recycled gold? Are there refiners who sell only recycled gold? Banks
sell newly mined gold, do refineries? If the countries hoarding gold
(for I’m not sure what reason) would sell it, could we stop mining new
gold? Has anyone one else been thinking about these things? I would
appreciate hearing from other goldsmiths. Thanks, Freddie Kulicke

Worry about driving your car and using electricity they are far more
damaging to the environment than the few gold mines in the world. Not
that gold mines and refining are not dangerous and toxic endeavors
but there are more important environmental causes to worry about like
greenhouse gases from automobiles and electric plants.

My .02 worth.
James Binnion Metal Arts
4701 San Leandro St #18
Oakland, CA 94601

Hi Freddi, I don’t know what you’ve heard, but many times alarmists &
other do gooders shoot from the hip. They don’t really check out the
facts. They get a small grain of truth & blow it all out of
proportion. Since many times it is based on opinion there’s no way to
have a rational dialog. It’s orta like religion & politics, never
argue either one.

You have to remember, if it isn’t grown, it has to be mined.

Here’s hoping for a well balanced populace on both sides of the


Poisonous gold mining…Naaaaaaaaaa

Boy I hope we dont stop gold mining or I would be out of business!!! I
live in Elko Nevada and our town is 100% gold mining. I am all in
favor to use recycled gold but to shut down mining is plum crazy an
not responsible. Dont get me wrong I love the tree’s as much or more
than most but I also am a “people hugger”. In regards to the artical
Mr.D’esposito said " We face a choice between protecting our rivers
and protecting an industry. We choose clean rivers." Guess what you
can have both and just who is we!!! Barrick Goldstrick is one of the
largest gold producer’s in the world and right out my back door . I have seen them more often than not protect the
"clean rivers" and protect people to. It is interesting also to look
at Mr. Gore’s view on the subject. He would shut down gold mine’s in a
flash, then see what you pay for an ounce. (Well possible anyhow) Well
no offense to anyone just another view…

Chip Stone
(Yes Im a goldsmith and that my real name) lol

Freddie and all: Yes, any mining operation CAN and occasionally do
cause environmental crises. I live in a mining area (coal), though
I’ve never mined. Any human process can have accidents, but consider
all accidents cost more to the mining companies than lawful, safe
mining (cost include lost minerals, legal fees, cleanup, bad P.R.,
lost production time, the list of cost goes on). I also glanced through
the site referenced, and found hedged comments and most pessimistic
dire warnings. Looking at thier overview material thay seem opposed to
all mining, drilling, or industrial processes. Can we go back to a
rural agrarian society 90+% farmers, I don’t think so! On draining all
Governmental reserves, destroys all real worth to our national
economies, and even all the reserves is only an eight year supply,
then prices go up and hasty and illegal mining takes over and more
problems. So try to encourage reuse of gold have customers bring you
old gold to remake if that’s your style. But remember the jewelry
trade is not the only user of gold, the computer, electronics, and
other high tech industries rely on gold’s outstanding electrical
properties. So let’s not go too fast to the chicken little reflex.
Rather encourage legislation of necessary new laws and enforcement of
existing current laws. Also, look into your supplies, thier
environmental record, and challenge them or change suppliers if
appropriate. If you do change suppliers let them know why, enough and
they’ll change. Ed

    I've recently learned alarming facts concerning my favourite
metal and its put  a damper on my life's work. Check it out: 

Hi Fredricka,

I did check out the web site and then I looked at the original
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) TRI report which the web site
was quoting. The heart of the web site’s message was that hardrock
mining dumps more toxins than any other industry.

A review of the original EPA data discloses that the massive "toxic"
dumping referred to by the web site is the overburden (the stuff that
sits on top of the mineral bearing ore), lower grade ores and the
tailings from ore concentrating operations, all of which are dumped
near the site of the mine. For the most part, these dumps just sit
and do nothing. They are, in fact, the same ground which was dug up
near by and dumped a few blocks away.

The web site was hysterical in making its point that mining is bad
for us. However, looking at the same EPA report quoted by the web
site for the fertilizer industry in Nebraska will make your hair stand
on end if you don’t understand the data.

I have crawled all over a huge number of mine dumps in my home state
of Arizona. These dumps do expose many minerals which would be
difficult to dig down to, and which are in a less weathered state than
surface outcrops of them. I always consider myself lucky when I can
crawl around copper mine dumps and find some of those copper related
"toxins" which were dumped. You and I would call them malachite,
azurite, chrysocolla and, if I’m really lucky, gem silica.

The mining industry has a lot of work to do to become environmentally
friendly, but it is making progress. Sites which promote hysteria to
further their own goals don’t help in bringing the mining industry
along - they tend to polarize public opinion and make compromise

The miners point out that "if it can’t be grown it must be mined."
We are even talking kitty litter here. We have to use mined products
(try to get along without copper for a day - no car, no electricity
and in many areas, no plumbing). The trick is to continue working
toward better mining techniques and improved restoration of mining
sites. Folks who spread missuch as the web site you
mentioned, don’t move us forward.

You had every right to be concerned about what the site said, but
they are playing fast and loose with the facts. By all means
Fredricka, recycle your gold and support responsible mining. But you
can also buy new gold without feeling guilty.

After all, John Burgess has gone to an awful lot of trouble to create
that gold for you.

John McLaughlin Glendale, Arizona @John_McLaughlin

You are correct about the hazards of mining gold, but let me ask you
this before you start espousing that we should all use 100% RECYCLED
gold. First, what do you use to pickle in, what do you do with your
polishing wheels, what do you do with your floor sweeps? Do you
recycle all of this material? Second, do you use stones? How do you
think they are mined? Cut? Polished? what do you think happens to
the ground and chemicals from those processes? Third, is your bench
wood? is it recycled partical board, and if so how much recycled
materials? What about your cabinets? And do you know what chemicals
go into making partical board? Forth, do you drive a car? is it run
with fossil fuels? does it have tires? do you know how those tires
are manufactured? Are you aware that tires can not be made of
recycled tire material, so that hundreds of thousands of tires a year
are in land fill, and a small percentage of them go to re-cycling
plants to make track fields, and running shoes. Fifth, what kind of
food do you eat? Any meat and poulty, and fish? Are you aware that
the hormones given to cattle and poultry are being found in the water
supply? And the fisheries are going under under the great demand, yet
the fish can’t breed that fast. (salmon for example are at numbers
lower than in recorded history in the pacific north west, where most
salmon is caught) What is your favorite fish? what are the catching
practices for these fish? does it take boats? how are the boats
made? are they metal? is that mining? are there similar processes
in mining that metal as in gold? and what kind of scale are we
discussing here? Sixth, what kind of produce do you eat? organic, or
no? what kind of machines are used for cultivation, transportation,
and storage.

before you go over the edge in your panic about how gold is mined,
consider the whole picture. We do use as much scrap material here as
possible, and when I contact my supplier, I sure don’t say, make sure
none of that gold is “recycled”. All gold, weather fresh from the
ground, or from around the worlds studios, needs to be refined before
it is useful in our trade. All gold we purchase is refined, and as
such, it isn’t really possible to say, this oz is new, this oz is old.
Also consider how long gold has been mined this way, and the fact
that is is such a limited precious resource. Limited does mean that
it can’t be found any and every where, so there are a lot of places
free from these contaminants. Yes, I do agree, there should be safer
and cleaner ways to mine, and that many mining methods are not
appropriate in this day and age when we now recognize that our entire
planet is a limited and finite resource. BUT, what I am trying to
convey, is rather than throw the baby out with the bath water, change
what you can in your arena, and then work outwards. Don’t expect to
change the world, when your house still represents and runs on the old

A. Austin
Austin Creations

(try to get along without copper for a day - no car, no electricity
and in many areas, no plumbing).  

G’day; whilst I disagree with reactionary (‘knee jerk’) comments
about anything, including mining and certainly modern farming which
probably causes far more pollution than mining. But you might be
interested to know we had our present house built 17 years ago and
ALL the plumbing is of plastic (mostly high density polythene with PVC
for the roof drainage pipes and guttering - which provide us with
domestic water) So you don’t HAVE to have copper plumbing; our system
works very well. But we don’t have plastic power conduction. YET!
I suspect it isn’t too far away.

After all, John Burgess has gone to an awful lot of trouble to create
that gold for you.

Sorry, 'twern’t me; 'twer possibly that bloke/lady folk call god. I
only commented on it. People all made of star stuff? You better
believe it, 'cos we surely are.

	John Burgess;   @John_Burgess2 of Mapua Nelson NZ

hi folks: Having been involved in the hunt for gold and dredging
rather than hard rock mining…I have been faced with increasingly
difficult regulations… As I see it we CLEAN the environment… we
remove lead aluminum and mercury that exists from past mining
opperations…by turning the bed material we clean and provide a
better spawning bed than existed before… not all operations
include destroying the environment…John
Henry aka " Ringman"

I believe the most important objective is that we try our best and
allow for changes when new is available. The ideal
result will be to have that same ground support the richest variety
of plant and animal life appropriate to that niche.

Our judgement of what is best for the environment can have unintended

For example to use machines to regularly clean the sandy beaches so
that bathers can have a pristine beach impoverishes the ecology of
that beach. By removing the normal jetsam and floatsam that wash up
with every tide food for scavengers such as worms and sand hoppers is
eliminated. The beach biomass falls and the results of this missing
link in the food chain causes aquatic (and bird) life in the adjacent
waters to be impoverished too. All because we think a clean sandy
beach and a seaside bathing area that has no particulates looks clean
and good for “our” environment. Kelvin Mok @Kelvin_Mok1