To stay with the gold mining theme, here are some more resources about this industry.
Tarnished: the True Cost of Gold, published by Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Released as e-book 19 February, you can now download it for free (after 7 March you can buy it for 9,99 USD). About the people that brings the gold up to the surface (so that we can shine with it). Personal stories from across the world, including Roșia Montană, facts and backgrounds, and magnificent photography – a MUST read!
All that glitters isn’t gold – A Story of Exploitation and Resistance, a 10 minute trailer for a film about the exploitation of an open pit gold mine in Honduras. It shows how difficult it is for the local population to be taken seriously and to be heard, and this is only one of many similar stories. The full documentary is also available on Youtube, divided in six parts.
The Environmental disaster that is the Gold Industry, by Smithsonianmag.com (14 February 2014). About the environmental impact of gold mining worldwide, and the efforts that are being made to raise awareness. Quoting the director of the No Dirty Gold campaign: “… consumers need to think about the impacts they have when they buy jewelry.”
75 % of the world’s mining companies are based in Canada (Vice, 9 July 2013). Many of the mining companies involved in controversial conflicts around the world are based in Canada. Why is that?
Most of us don’t buy gold jewellery very often. And when we do, it will probably be for a very special occasion. A special person, birthday, anniversary – or the grand decision to get married, when you want to choose that-very-most-special-ring-that-you-feel-you-can-live-with-for-a-lifetime-and-YES-I-do! So much thinking goes into “the perfect piece”, that we easily forget to also look for “clean gold” in that very moment. That is so understandable, really. After all, jewellery is emotional.
All of this above is a “note to self”. I don’t work with gold, but even so, next time I need to buy more silver or copper, I should consider all the above, and choose a retailer that sells fairtrade or recycled metal. Will I do that, or will I look at the price tag, go for a retailer that allows me to order online, or that conveniently offers my prefered payment method?
And next time you buy jewellery in gold or silver? Next time you feel the weight of that wonderful pendant in your hand, or you try those most gorgeous earrings that-you-fell-in-love-with-and-want-to-have-right-NOW… What do you do? Will you ask the question: Excuse me, but are they fairtrade?
Where to buy fairtrade/recycled metal?
If you know where to buy fairtrade or recycled precious metals, wherever in the world, feel free to share your resource here below. If in Europe, even more appreciated, ’cause then next time I buy metal, I’d have no excuse…