Gold is a limited natural resource that humans have found valuable for thousands of years. Unfortunately, whenever there is money to be made from extracting such resources, greed can lead to questionable practices. Here’s a look into the shadowy dark side of gold mining.
A Brief History of Gold and Gold Mining
Humanity has an obsession with this precious metal. We’ve used it for fashion, money, technology and much more. At first, gold could be found much closer to the Earth’s surface. Larger mining operations became necessary as people had to dig further and further to get to gold deposits.
Ancient humans mined gold in places like the Middle East and Colombia, and likely didn’t think much about the future. As humanity progressed and new gold mining equipment allowed us to mine more gold faster, the impact became more visible. Gold became a global business and demand and gold prices kept rising.
Today, gold recycling via cash for gold companies can reintroduce existing refined gold to the market. However, mining operations keep pushing forward.
Employees Face Extreme Hazards and Unfair Compensation
People have often been willing to go to great lengths to obtain even a small nugget of this metal. Unfortunately, safety precautions are often not used to help the people working in the mines or the environment. Today, we’re starting to understand the tremendous impact left behind by gold mining.
Mine workers are often stuck in dangerous conditions with limited pay. They are forced to work extremely long hours and are not compensated justly. During the long history of gold mining, the rights of workers have not been respected. They have been viewed as insignificant resources that can be easily replaced. Gold news has revealed that this way of doing business has not changed in recent years.
Gold resources are not easy to obtain, so often dangerous and toxic processes must be used. Cyanide extraction is a popular method that has been in gold news for decades. Unfortunately, it is toxic and lethal to people. Workers who are forced to use cyanide extraction are exposed to this dangerous chemical.
We’ve also learned over time that cyanide is often left behind after gold mining has ended. It can enter the water stream, leach into the soil and cause tremendous damage to the environmental surroundings. The history of gold has shown that mining companies are not interested in cleaning up this environmental disaster.
Damaging Environments and Depleting Resources for Profit
Most mining companies that specialize in gold are only interested in profit. They destroy large quantities of land and rock to get to the precious metal, pay extremely low wages to workers and never worry about cleaning up the site once the mine is closed. Gold resources are easily depleted in some areas, and the mining company moves on to the next target. They do not care about the environment.
In the process of constructing the mine and maintaining it, gold mining companies push out the natural wildlife in the area. They have driven many animals to dangerously low population levels, but they do not appear to care.
Gold Mining Can Devastate Local Communities
Gold mines are often located in sparsely populated rural areas. The history of gold has shown that many of the residents who surround these areas are either driven out or paid to leave. They say gold mining companies are able to make deals with local governments to push these people off of their land.
Gold mining has a dangerous and dark side to the workers, environment and local cities and towns. This is why it’s smart to recycle already existing gold to be made into new items. This lessens the dark impact of gold mining.