THE PERVASIVE PROBLEMS OF GOLD MINING
"Most consumers don't know where the gold in their products comes from, or how it is mined. Gold mining is one of the most destructive industries in the world. It can displace communities, contaminate drinking water, hurt workers, and destroy pristine environments. It pollutes water and land with mercury and cyanide, endangering the health of people and ecosystems. Producing gold for one wedding ring alone generates 20 tons of waste" Earthworks
Image thanks to Ecowatch
- IN THE AIR, UNDER THE GROUND, ACROSS COMMUNITIES -
It has been well documented in the last 10-15 years the level of destruction that gold mining brings with it, and we believe it is our responsibility to work towards a better future. This is the reason why we, together with other international jewellers, have signed THE GOLDEN RULES.
The Golden Rules are a set of criteria for more responsible mining. The No Dirty Gold campaign developed the Golden Rules based based on broadly accepted international human rights laws and basic principles of sustainable development.
These Rules represent social, environmental, and human rights criteria for more responsible gold production. By committing to the rules, we have pledged to pursue and encourage "cleaner" sourcing of gold and other metals.
- THE GOLDEN RULES -
The Golden Rules state that mining companies and operations must:
1. Respect basic human rights outlined in international conventions and law
2. Obtain the free, prior, and informed consent of affected communities.
3. Respect workers' rights and labour standards, including safe working conditions
4. Ensure that operations are not located in areas of armed or militarised conflict
5. Ensure that projects do not force communities off their lands
6. Ensure that projects are not located in protected areas, fragile ecosystems, or other areas of high conservation or ecological value
7. Refrain from dumping mine wastes into the ocean, rivers, lakes, or streams
8. Ensure that projects do not contaminate water, soil, or air with sulfuric acid drainage or other toxic chemicals
9. Cover all costs of closing down and cleaning up mine sites
10. Fully disclose information about social and environmental effects of projects
11. Allow independent verification of the above
Please refer to Earthworks & No dirty Gold Campaign if you want to learn more.
- ALTERNATIVES -
Since Earthworks first started highlighting the problems in gold mining, more than 10 years ago, options for ethical metals have definetly evolved. At the moment there are different sources of sustainable metals available - like 100% Recycled Gold, Fairtrade Gold and Fairmined Gold.
If you want to find out more about these different types of metals and the beautiful jewels we make with them go to Beautiful Ethics to keep on learning.