Modern Hard-rock mining is toxic no matter what Evolution Mining says. The extraction process uses large amounts of toxic reagents, usually cyanide, and also liberates toxic heavy metals. The process produces so much toxic waste that storage at or near the mine, forever, is the only viable way to manage it. The waste tailings reservoirs invariably leak toxins into the environment and often fail…disastrously.
The process leaves this toxic legacy whether the mining is from an open pit or from tunnels under the ground. This is because only a few grams of gold are extracted from each tonne of rock and the rest becomes toxic waste.
We don’t even need more Gold. Some 31,000 tonnes of gold are held in reserve by central banks and the IMF. Another 2,000 tonnes is traded as bullion. This is enough to supply the world’s industries for more than 100 years.
The historical legacy of gold mining is not only toxic contamination, but impoverishment of local communities. The beneficiaries of this huge risk to our environment and livelihoods all live a long way from harm. No wonder the signs at Puhipuhi corner and all around Whakapara tell Evolution to go away!