The price of gold is high: Gigantic areas of tropical rainforest are being cleared, countless people are being displaced, toxic waste is being dumped into rivers and groundwater is being contaminated.
Did you know that one gold ring alone causes over 20 tons of toxic waste? - This interview in SPIEGEL will open your eyes....
"SPIEGEL: Is this just loose rock that can be shoved somewhere, or is it toxic? - Keith Slack: The problem is that cyanide-treated rock, when exposed to air, gives off sulfuric acids, such as those found in car batteries. This process goes on forever and can destroy groundwater forever. Even mines operated by the Romans in what is now France still give off these substances.... It is estimated that gold mines worldwide consume 182,000 tons of cyanide each year, a gigantic amount."
About 15 million people worldwide work in small-scale gold mining, and about 100 million people in Africa, South America and Asia are financially dependent on the sector. Many of them receive less than $2 a day, which is barely enough to survive.
Child labor is unfortunately widespread in gold mining. Experts estimate that there are 1 million child laborers in gold mines in Africa alone - and still today! The suffering of these children is immeasurable.
The working conditions in the unregulated mines are often miserable to life-threatening. The health of the workers is damaged by the unprotected use of mercury and cyanide and the environment is irreparably destroyed.
Even in Europe we are not immune to environmental disasters caused by gold mining. The disaster of Baia Mare in Romania, where life in large parts of the Danube River was wiped out for years after a dam burst in a cyanide basin, is still remembered.
Communities that live off mining often lack basic infrastructure such as sanitation and clean drinking water. Access to health care and schooling is often poor.
SWR-Documentary: Westafrika – The Curse of Gold
It is obvious Sustainable development is not possible this way...
FAIREVER offers alternatives. With us you can buy certified Fairtrade and Fairmined certified Gold. In our store you will find semi-finished products, gold bars and gold coins. It already started - let's make mining a bit fairer and more sustainable together.