Media Releases

Expert Study Shows Buyat Bay, Indonesia, Polluted; Newmont at Center of Public Health Controversy

November 10, 2004

Washington, DC - An Indonesian government-convened panel concluded its studies this week showing that sediment and fish in Buyat Bay, Indonesia, are contaminated with mercury and arsenic at levels that pose a human health risk.  Buyat Bay is the site of Newmont Mining Corporation's Minahasa Raya gold mine, which closed down in August 2004.

The panel was convened by the Indonesian government following allegations that U.S.-based Newmont's gold mine had polluted Buyat Bay and harmed human health. The panel consists of experts drawn from Indonesian government agencies, academia, non-governmental organizations, and technical consultants. Its findings were officially accepted by the Indonesian Environment Minister on Monday.

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Tagged with: mining, gold, public health, newmont, international, mercury


No Dirty Gold campaign

October 22, 2004

Starting this week, university students on a number of college campuses will take action against class ring retail giants Jostens, American Achievement Corporation (AAC) and Herff-Jones.

For years, college students have raised America's public consciousness through social activism: anti-war marches, apartheid sit-ins, sweatshop protests. Now, students have embraced a new cause. Yale students are part of a larger campaign called No Dirty Gold, an international effort to educate consumers about the harmful impacts of gold mining and to build consumer support for industry reforms.

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Tagged with: no dirty gold, jewelry retailers, class rings, american achievement corporation, jostens, yale, herff-jones

Senate Attempts to Thwart Bush Mining Fee Increase

September 16, 2004

Washington, DC - The FY2005 Interior Appropriations bill, introduced yesterday by Interior Subcommittee Chair Conrad Burns (R-MT), includes a provision that would delay the increase in the claim maintenance fee that mining companies must pay to maintain an exclusive option to mine on public land.

The fee increase, which was written into rule by the Bush Administration this past July, would raise the fee from $100 to $125 per year. This increase was the first attempt to raise the fee since its original authorization by Congress in 1993. The claim fee, along with a $25 fee to initially stake a mining claim, are the only payment to the public for mining on public lands and are intended to cover administrative costs rather than act as a fair payment to the public. The public does not receive a royalty for the $1 billion in minerals extracted from public lands each year.

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Tagged with: mining, public lands, congress, bush

What Do Ted Turner, Bush Appointee John Turner, and EARTHWORKS Have in Common?

September 8, 2004

Washington, D.C. - Earthworks will be presented with the Award of Achievement by the Natural Resources Council of America for the best environmental media campaign of the year for its "No Dirty Gold" campaign. The awards ceremony will be held at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. tonight.  Other award winners include Ted Turner who will be presented with the Award of Honor for his lifetime contributions to conservation, and John Turner, a member of both Bush Administrations, who will receive the Award for Public Service.

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Tagged with: mining, gold, no dirty gold

Mining Claim Fee Increases by $25

July 2, 2004

Washington, DC- Yesterday, the Department of the Interior announced an increase in the fee that mining companies must pay to maintain an exclusive option to mine a claim on public land - from $100 per claim per year to $125 per year. This fee, along with a $25 fee to initially stake a mining claim, are the only return the public receives for the $1 billion dollars in minerals extracted from public lands each year.

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Tagged with: mining, public lands, interior department

Mining Industry Hides Toxic Releases

June 23, 2004

WASHINGTON, DC -- Multinational companies that mine metals and minerals such as gold, silver and copper - produce more toxic waste than any other industry in the country, according to the EPA's annual Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) released today.

According to the TRI, 1.3 billion pounds of toxics were released by hardrock mines in 2002 - 27% of all toxics released by U.S. industry overall. This includes 384 million pounds of arsenic, 348 million pounds of lead and 4.7 million pounds of mercury.

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Tagged with: mining, gold, toxics, mercury, tri

Public Lands Giveaway Revealed by New Website

May 10, 2004

Washington, DC - On the 132nd anniversary of the signing of the 1872 Mining Law, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has released a new investigative website, Who Owns the West? detailing widespread mining industry control of public lands. The interactive website reveals that one out of every 11 acres of public land is open to the multinational mining industry. It also sheds new light on a massive taxpayer rip-off and giveaway of millions of acres of public lands to private corporations and individuals for rock-bottom prices - in some cases as little as 84 cents an acre.

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Tagged with: 1872 mining law, public lands


No Dirty Gold campaign, WACAM, Western Shoshone Defense Project

May 5, 2004

Washington, DC -- This Mother's Day, leaders of the No Dirty Gold consumer campaign are calling on husbands, sons, and daughters to protect mothers around the world from being harmed by destructive gold mining practices. Mother's Day is the second largest gold jewelry- giving holiday of the year after the Christmas season.

"Many of our mothers have been impoverished and can no longer feed their children because mining operations have taken over their farmland and contaminated their drinking water supplies," said Hannah Owusu-Koranteng of the Wassa region in Ghana, where families have suffered in the wake of a cyanide spill from a gold mine in 2001. "The human cost of gold mining is simply too high."

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Tagged with: no dirty gold, jewelry retailers, indigenous, jewelry, mothers day

Communities Hurt by Newmont Seek Compensation

April 28, 2004

Denver, Colorado, 4/28 -- Shareholders gathering today for Newmont Mining Corp.'s annual meeting will be met by rosy financial reports, but for thousands of people living near its gold mines in Indonesia, Peru, and Nevada, living conditions continue to deteriorate.  Critics charge the company's operations have polluted drinking water, contaminated fisheries and farmland, and led to serious health problems, which the multi-billion-dollar company has refused to acknowledge to its shareholders as a significant financial and social liability.

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Tagged with: mining, gold, no dirty gold, newmont, international

EARTHWORKS Launches Earthworks@HOME

April 21, 2004

Washington, DC, 4/21 -- Coinciding with the 34th annual Earth Day Celebration this week, EARTHWORKS today announced a new tool to aid consumers and communities in making responsible choices at home that will help protect the environment and communities around the world from the impacts of mining, drilling, and digging.

Earthworks@HOME will provide information and practical suggestions and tips that will help consumers make informed choices about everything from jewelry to cell phones.  The focus will be on steps that people can take in their everyday lives to tread more lightly on the earth's surface -- conserving resources, producing less waste, and protecting communities.

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Tagged with: mining, oil and gas

Tiffany & Co. Stakes Bold Position on Responsible Mining

March 24, 2004

WASHINGTON, DC Today, Tiffany & Co., one of the leading jewelry companies in the world, issued a call for protection of an important wilderness area threatened by a silver mine as well as reform of the outdated U.S. mining law regulating the industry supplying it with much of the gold, silver and platinum for its jewelry.

The jewelry company made its statement in an open letter to the Forest Service in today's Washington Post.  Tiffany & Co. states that the "opponents fears are justified" in regard to the controversial Rock Creek silver and copper mine in a pristine Wilderness Area in Montana, a poster child example of why the 1872 Mining Law badly needs updating.  This is the first time that a major jewelry company has taken such a highly visible stance calling for reforms to the main U.S. law regulating mining, and could be an early sign of fears of consumer backlash from the destructive impacts of mining on the part of retailers of jewelry and high-tech products that use gold, silver and other metals.

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Tagged with: gold, no dirty gold, jewelry retailers, montana, rock creek mine, miningwatch canada, tiffany and co

Mineral Policy Center Becomes EARTHWORKS

March 1, 2004

Washington, DC -- Today Mineral Policy Center announced that it has changed its name to EARTHWORKS (

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Tagged with: media

No Dirty Gold Campaign Launch

February 11, 2004

WASHINGTON, DC -- EARTHWORKS/Mineral Policy Center and Oxfam America today announced the launch of No Dirty Gold, a consumer campaign intended to shake up the gold industry and change the way gold is mined, bought and sold. The two organizations have targeted the gold jewelry market for the major consumer campaign, because gold mining is arguably the dirtiest industry operating in the U.S. and in many parts of the world.

"Gold doesn't seem so shiny when you consider the colossal damage gold mining inflicts," said Payal Sampat, International Campaign Director with EARTHWORKS. "We're asking consumers to consider the real cost of gold, and we're enlisting their help to put an end to mining practices that endanger people and ecosystems."

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Tagged with: gold, no dirty gold, jewelry retailers

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