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Gold has captivated us since the beginning of time. Despite what may seem like just any other shiny metal, Gold has always been at the forefront of mass hysteria. From the San Francisco Gold Rush of the 1850s to the current Gold Rush in Ghana, people still jump at the opportunity to mine gold in hopes of making a fortune.
Despite their past, today’s Gold mining operations are no longer only about plunder and profit. In today’s world, one where sustainability, especially in regards to the environment, is at the forefront of many people’s minds, mining companies are beginning to change in order to reduce environmental harm and have an enduring positive impact on communities where mining takes place. A recent Van Eck probe was written highlighting these sustainable, as well as moral, advancements in the Gold Industry.
Awareness of Artisanal mining is on the rise. Small-scale mining, also commonly associated with artisanal mining, tends to be very dangerous, polluting, and unregulated which is why this type of mining tends to be illegal in most places. While this type of mining definitely hasn’t gone away, eco-conscious investment firms are beginning to divest from these operations. In addition, larger mining companies are beginning to takeover artisan operations when possible. This is great because they can usually retain the employment of local workers while also improving working conditions and reducing the amount of polling waste.
Mining companies are now building mines with consideration of environmental impact after operations have ceased. Long-gone are the days of constructing open-pit mines that leave deep gashes and scars in the earth’s crust after mining has been done. Mines are now constructed with plans that make reclamation by nature easier. Transportation paths are made in ways that hug the lands natural shape while all standing mine infrastructure is sold or recycled after use. Open-pits are covered and replanted with native vegetation and natural animal migratory pathways are even restored if possible.
In addition to restoring the earth, mining companies are also taking a stake in communities. In underdeveloped areas, mining companies are helping locals by building or improving infrastructure that provides necessities and amenities like clean water, plumbing, and electricity. In regards to the long run, companies are providing education for those interested while also helping bolster other potential local industries in order to retain employment once mining companies leave. These are just a few things being done in order to transform a typically gritty, unforgiving and predatory industry into one where all involved can benefit. Positive profit margins, happy people, and healthy earth is a true Win-Win-Win situation!
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