Do we really want a 100 meter deep open-pit cyanide mine in our town?
Before you say yes, consider the following…
Gold mining is a highly consumptive and environmentally destructive industry. In addition to the landscapes that is destroys, gold mining (especially open pit gold mining) creates massive amounts of toxic waste that often causes acid mine drainage and heavy metal contamination.
Gold mining and metal processing also uses vast amount of water and energy, often subsidized. It also utilizes dangerous chemicals such as cyanide in its leaching processes, posing a threat to local water systems.
Water depletion is a major negative consequence of gold mining. The large amount of water required to run a gold mining operation exacerbates its impact on local communities, many of which are already experiencing drought.
ACID MINE DRAINAGE
Open pit mining creates great waste for a small yield. On average, it takes 79 tons of waste to extract one ounce of gold, according to a conservative estimate by the No Dirty Gold campaign, a project of EarthWorks and Oxfam. The process involves grinding up ore, and then exposing it to cyanide in order to extract the gold. Sulfides in the crushed rocks interact with air and water to create sulfuric acid, which in turn creates acid mine drainage (AMD). In and of itself, AMD is harmful to ecosystems because it makes water too acidic to support life. Additionally, the sulfuric acid in AMD leaches out other substances from the waste ore, such as arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury, which can have disastrous health effects, and can contaminate both air and water. Gold mining has been linked to 96 percent of the world’s arsenic emissions.
Cyanide is the chemical-of-choice for mining companies to extract gold from crushed ore, despite the fact that leaks or spills of this chemical are extremely toxic to fish, plant life and human beings. Cyanide is a deadly chemical, used in the gas chambers of the Second World War and on death row in the United States between 1930-1980. The chemical has caused havoc in water systems across the world with over 30 spills in the last five years.
Is all of this what we want for the future of Pearce and our families? Please start educating yourselves about the issues and talk with each other about what’s happening in our community. As it stands, Commonwealth Silver and Gold Mining Inc. seems to believe they can do whatever they want, regardless of our opinions, and this needs to change.
Read more about this issue in the Willcox Range News:
Commonwealth Mine: Will it move forward?
Commonwealth Silver and Gold Mining explains Pearce project