Media Releases

Don't tarnish the Oscars with dirty gold

February 22, 2008

Washington, D.C. -- In the lead-up to the Oscar awards ceremonies in Los Angeles on Sunday, more than 2,000 activists have sent letters and faxes to the celebrity jeweler Harry Winston, urging the company to commit to human rights and environmental standards for sourcing gold and precious metals. Concerns about "dirty" or irresponsible mining practices have already prompted 29 leading jewelry retailers, including Tiffany & Co., Cartier and Piaget Gold to sign on to these standards, which are known as the "Golden Rules." However, Harry Winston, jeweler to the stars, still lags behind in this regard.

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Tagged with: gold, no dirty gold, gold mining, golden rules

Jewelry Retailers Urge Protection for Alaska's Bristol Bay

February 12, 2008

Washington, DC, February 12, 2008 - As shoppers rush to buy last-minute Valentine's gifts, five of the nation's leading jewelry retailers -- Tiffany & Co., Ben Bridge Jeweler, Helzberg Diamonds, Fortunoff, and Leber Jeweler, Inc. -- today pledged their support to permanently protect Alaska's Bristol Bay watershed from large-scale metal mining, including the massive proposed Pebble gold mine. The retailers, who had $2.2 billion in sales in 2006, took this step at the invitation of local Alaskans, who seek to protect wild salmon, clean water, and traditional Alaskan ways of life from the damaging effects of industrial metal mines.

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Tagged with: no dirty gold, bristol bay, alaska, jewelry retailers

1872 Mining Law Reform Proposal Falls Short

January 25, 2008

Washington, D.C., 1/25: Yesterday, the ranking member of the Senate and Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Senator Peter Domenici (R-NM), laid out an agenda for "reform" of the antiquated 1872 Mining Law that would not adequately protect taxpayers, communities and the environment from the potentially destructive impacts of hardrock mining.

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Tagged with: 1872 mining law, new mexico, taxpayers, senate, legislature

House Natural Resources Committee Overhauls Outdated 1872 Mining Law

October 23, 2007

October 23, Washington, D.C. -- The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee today approved a major rewrite of the badly outdated 1872 Mining Law, setting the stage for a House floor vote later this year. The House is expected to pass the reform bill, H.R. 2262.

A dinosaur among the nation's public lands statutes, the 19th century mining law is one of the most destructive still on the books. It applies to hundreds of millions of acres of federal public lands. Although it has left a legacy of poisoned streams and abandoned mines across the West, HR 2262 would be the Mining Law's first substantial overhaul in 135 years. The 1872 Mining Law, originally intended to spur the nation's westward expansion, makes mining the "highest and best use" of public lands, allows the sale of claimed lands for $5 an acre, imposes zero federal royalties, and contains no environmental standards.

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Tagged with: mining, 1872 mining law, public lands, congress

Citizens' groups, ranchers, landowners urge state to protect water, public health and taxpayers with strong pit rule

October 19, 2007

October 19, 2007 - New Mexico citizens' groups, ranching groups and landowners are urging state officials to prohibit pits on most oil and gas drilling sites and to require operators to dispose of contaminated pit waste at permitted waste facilities, rather than burying the waste on-site.

"It's time that the oil and gas industry takes responsibility to prevent pit pollution and dispose of their waste properly like everyone else," said Bruce Baizel, staff attorney for the Oil & Gas Accountability Project and Pit Rule Task Force member - a stakeholder group charged with developing a proposal for new oil and gas pit regulations.

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Tagged with: fracking, oil and gas, ogap, new mexico, disclosure

Road To Ethically Sourced Jewelry Gets Shorter

October 9, 2007

Oct 9, 2007 - The Madison Dialogue has published its second White Paper, entitled Getting to Fair Trade Gold and Jewellery, by Cristina Echavarria, Secretary General of the Association for Responsible Mining (ARM), a global NGO based in Colombia. It describes the Standard Zero process, which will certify gold that comes from artisanal and small-scale mines as meeting social, environmental and human rights standards and providing added economic benefit to local communities.

This project seeks to link an emerging grassroots movement in ethically produced metals and gems with the global "fair trade" movement. The result, for the first time, would be the presence in jewelry stores of jewelry sourced from gold that meets standards of environmental accountability, economic justice, and local sustainability.

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Tagged with: mining, gold, jewelry retailers

New Research Reveals that Industry-Backed Royalty Scheme Fails Taxpayers and the Environment

October 2, 2007

October 2, Washington, D.C. -- New research released today finds that the mining royalty methodology used by Nevada and Alaska, if adopted by the federal government, would neither pay taxpayers a fair return nor adequately fund the $50 billion abandoned mine cleanup bill facing all Americans. Published by the mining and energy watchdog group EARTHWORKS, A Hardrock Royalty: case studies and industry norms, is being released the same day the Energy and Minerals Subcommittee of the House Natural Resources Committee hears testimony regarding the royalty provisions of 1872 Mining Law reform.

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Tagged with: 1872 mining law, alaska, nevada, taxpayers

Growing Coalition Calls on Shell: Don't Drill in Canadian Sacred Headwaters!

September 11, 2007

September 11 -- Following continued efforts by Royal Dutch Shell to push its plans to explore for coal bed methane in British Columbia's Sacred Headwaters, a growing international coalition published an ad in the Financial Times calling upon the world's second largest corporation to abandon the risky project. The coalition, which includes the Dogwood Initiative, EARTHWORKS, ForestEthics, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, and Sierra Club of Canada, is part of a diverse and growing opposition to Shell's attempt to develop one of the largest, intact predator-prey ecosystems in North America.

The ad follows a joint letter from the coalition members to Shell's Board Chair Jorma Ollila, and CEO Jeroen van der Veer, in which the groups requested that Royal Dutch Shell refrain from activity in the headwaters of the Stikine, Skeena and Nass Rivers.

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Tagged with: oil and gas, ogap, shell

Costa Rican Gold Mine Suspended Due to Pollution Risks

September 11, 2007

San Jose and Washington, DC, 11 September, 2007: A multinational coalition of environmental and human rights organizations are calling on Canadian mining company Glencairn Gold Corporation to disclose information about suspected cyanide and metals pollution from the Bellavista gold mine in Costa Rica. Glencairn shut down the mine in late July, following heavy rains that caused substantial earth movements, and has reported in financial statements that the mine "may remain closed indefinitely," but has not made available any information about the extent of current or potential damage. The groups also demand proper cleanup and remediation of any current or future contamination.

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Tagged with: mining, gold, toxics, international, pollution

Groups Urge World Bank to Strengthen Guidelines for Controversial Mining Projects

September 6, 2007

Washington DC: A coalition of anti-poverty and environmental organizations today called on the private sector arm of the World Bank to re-write and improve its new environmental and safety guidelines for large-scale mining projects. The coalition, comprised of WWF, Oxfam, EARTHWORKS, the Bank Information Center and the Center for Science in Public Participation (CSP2) released a 20-page analysis that found serious shortcomings in the draft guidelines.

The guidelines lack measurable standards for critical issues, such as preventing water contamination - a major concern with large scale mining - and disposal of toxic wastes. The new rules also do not ensure that mines will be closed down properly to avoid long-term pollution problems.

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Tagged with: mining, mining reform, world bank

Statement of Stephen D'Esposito, EARTHWORKS President, on 1872 Mining Law Reform Hearings

July 26, 2007

7/26/07 - "Today the U.S. Congress takes an important step towards reforming one of the last remaining public-resource giveaways.

The House Subcommittee on Energy and Minerals hearing on HR 2262, the Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act of 2007, addresses the need to update a law that is long past due for reform -- the 1872 Mining Law.

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Tagged with: 1872 mining law, congress

New Mexico Passes Precedent-Setting Landowner Protection Act

June 28, 2007

(Raton, June 27) - Members of the New Mexico Cattle Growers' Association (NMCGA) will celebrate the enactment of the nation's strongest landowner law at its Annual Mid-Year Meeting in Raton June 29. They will also release the Oil & Gas Accountability Project's "Landowner's Guide to the New Mexico Surface Owners' Protection Act" - a step-by-step handbook detailing what the law does for surface owners.

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Tagged with: fracking, oil and gas, ogap, new mexico, landowners guide

New Evidence Shows Gold Mine Releasing Massive Unreported Mercury Air Pollution

June 11, 2007

Reno, NV (06/11) - New information reveals that the Queenstake's Jerritt Canyon Mine in northern Nevada is releasing massive unreported amounts of mercury air pollution. The new emissions data, obtained from the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection (NDEP), indicates that the mine may have released as much as 6,000-8,000 pounds of mercury air pollution in 2005 and 2006, yet it reported only 300-400 pounds to state and federal agencies for those years.

"It's a staggering amount of mercury, and a tremendous threat to the health and wellbeing of Nevada families," said Dan Randolph of Great Basin Mine Watch.

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Tagged with: mining, gold, nevada, mercury

National Precedent Set by New Landowner Protection Law

May 29, 2007

(Glenwood Springs, May 29) -- Today Colorado Governor Bill Ritter will sign House Bill 1252, precedent-setting legislation that is one of the most powerful state laws in the nation in terms of protecting landowners right and the environment.

"This is a brilliant piece of legislation that gives landowners a powerful tool to negotiate with companies and it requires industry to use state-of-the-art technologies to prevent and reduce damages," said Oil & Gas Accountability Project member Jim Fitzgerald, a rancher from Bayfield, CO. "There is no other law in the nation that balances the rights of landowners to protect their land with the rights of industry to develop their oil and gas."

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Tagged with: fracking, oil and gas, ogap, congress, landowner protection

Local Officials, Native Americans, Conservationists Support New Federal Mining Reform Bill

May 10, 2007

Washington, D.C. -- Local elected officials, Native Americans, and conservationists welcomed the introduction today of a new bill in Congress to protect clean water and western public lands from the impacts of metal mining. Championed by House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick Rahall (D-WV), the bill would overhaul the antiquated 1872 Mining Law, which allows mining of metals (like gold, copper and uranium) virtually anywhere on western public lands with few environmental safeguards and no return to the U.S. Treasury on the value of metals taken from those lands.

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Tagged with: mining, gold, 1872 mining law, indigenous, clean water

Groups Urge Newmont to Address Shareholder and Community Concerns

April 23, 2007

Washington, DC -- In advance of tomorrow's annual meeting of  Denver-based Newmont Mining Corporation, community groups from around the world urged the company to address human rights and environmental concerns at its gold mining operations and investments in Indonesia, Ghana, Peru, the United States, and Romania. The company's projects have been beset by protests, lawsuits, and controversies, prompting shareholders this year to file two resolutions calling on the company to review its policies on community engagement and waste disposal.

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Tagged with: mining, gold, international

New University Research Reveals Startlingly High Mercury Concentrations Near Northern Nevada Mines

February 14, 2007

Feb 14, Reno, NV -- A new University of Nevada report entitled Mercury Air Concentrations in Northern Nevada documents startlingly high mercury concentrations in the air around a number of northern Nevada gold mines.

The highest mercury concentrations in the air were measured at three mines: the Marigold Mine (3120 ng/m3), the Coeur Rochester Mine (2326 ng/m3), and the Twin Creeks Mine (694 ng/m3) -- mercury concentrations that were over 600, 400 and 100 times that of normal background conditions (5 ng/m3), respectively. According to the report, "These concentrations were much higher than expected and approach concentrations where impacts to worker health and safety, particularly to women of child bearing age, should be assessed." In two cases (Coeur and Marigold), the highest concentrations were measured in the employee parking lots.

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Tagged with: mining, nevada, mercury

Leading Retailers Pledge Their Gold Jewelry Will Sparkle Responsibly


February 8, 2007

WASHINGTON, DC --- This Valentine's season, 11 jewelry retailers are announcing their support for the No Dirty Gold campaign's Golden Rules criteria for more socially and environmentally responsible mining, bringing the total number of jewelry retailers supporting the Golden Rules up to 19. The list includes 7 of the 10 largest U.S. retailers of jewelry, and represents about 22 percent of the country's total jewelry market. The companies added to the list this year are: Fred Meyer and Littman Jewelers, Ben Bridge Jeweler, Wal-Mart, QVC, Birks & Mayors, Commemorative Brands (parent company of Balfour, ArtCarved, and Keystone class rings brands), Brilliant Earth, Leber Jeweler, TurningPoint, Boscov's and Michaels Jewelers.

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Tagged with: no dirty gold, jewelry retailers, golden rules, target, laggards

Birks & Mayors Endorses Boreal Forest Conservation


February 8, 2007

MONTREAL, Feb 8 --- Birks & Mayors Inc. (Amex: BMJ), a leading operator of luxury jewellery stores, today announced its support for the protection of Canada's Boreal Forest, the largest unspoiled ecosystem left on the planet and one of the last lines of defence against global warming, from expanding industrial development. With this announcement, Birks became the first Canadian jeweller to call for more socially and environmentally responsible production of gold and diamonds.

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Tagged with: no dirty gold, jewelry retailers, golden rules, birks & mayors, canadian boreal initiative, boreal forest

Billboard Highlights Mercury Health Threat

January 29, 2007

Jan 29, Reno, Nevada -- "Exposure to mercury causes learning disabilities and memory loss. Not to mention memory loss," warns a new Reno billboard unveiled today by a coalition of conservation and native community groups concerned that mercury pollution from gold and silver mines is a public health risk. The groups, Great Basin Mine Watch, Western Shoshone Defense Project, and Earthworks, last month urged the State of Nevada to determine the need for fish consumption advisories for northeastern Nevada waterways due to mercury from Nevada's mines.

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Tagged with: mining, gold, gold mining, nevada, mercury

Opposition Surges to Romanian Gold Project Propaganda

January 23, 2007

January 23: Eighty organizations across Romania, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Moldova, Canada, and the United States released a statement today highlighting the local, national, and international opposition to the Rosia Montana cyanide open pit gold mine project in Romania, refuting accusations of "exaggerations and misleading claims" in a recent film entitled "Mine Your Own Business." The film was financed by Gabriel Resources, the Toronto-based mining company that wants to build the Rosia Montana mine.

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Tagged with: mining, gold, international, romania

Fish Testing Reveals High Mercury Levels in World Horse Reservoir

December 13, 2006

Dec 13, Reno, NV - Public health, sportsmen, native, and conservation organizations are calling on the State Division of Health to investigate the need for fish consumption advisories for mercury in Wild Horse Reservoir and other reservoirs, lakes and streams in northern Nevada.

Recent analysis by the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) of several fish samples collected from Wild Horse Reservoir found mercury concentrations at levels that present a public health risk, particularly to children and pregnant women. Mercury is a powerful neurotoxin which can cause developmental problems such as delayed onset of walking, talking and delays and deficits in learning.

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Tagged with: mining, public health, nevada, mercury

Valle Vidal Protection Act Becomes Law

December 13, 2006

December 13, Taos, NM - After an intense and hard-fought three-year battle, President Bush signed Representative Tom Udall's Valle Vidal Protection Act of 2005 into law yesterday. The new law will permanently protect the Valle Vidal, one of New Mexico's greatest natural treasures, by withdrawing the area from mineral leasing.

"The Valle Vidal Protection Act is a great step towards New Mexico's clean energy future, said Representative Tom Udall, the bill's sponsor. "Responsible management of our energy resources means that some places, such as the Valle Vidal, are simply off limits to development."

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Tagged with: new mexico, congress, mineral rights

New Scientific Research Reveals Widespread Failure to Keep Mines from Polluting Water

December 7, 2006

Dec 7, Washington, DC -- New scientific research unveiled today finds that faulty water quality predictions, mitigation measures and regulatory failures result in the approval of mines that create significant water pollution problems. Despite assurances from government regulators and mine proponents that mines would not pollute clean water, researchers found that 76 percent of studied mines exceeded water quality standards, polluting rivers, and groundwater with toxic contaminants, such as lead, mercury, arsenic and cyanide, and exposing taxpayers to huge cleanup liabilities. The release was issued by the Washington, DC-based conservation group EARTHWORKS and conservation groups in as many as ten western states affected by mining.

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Tagged with: mining, public health, water pollution

Groups Urge Jewelers, Miners to Provide Consumers with a Certified Alternative to "Blood Diamonds" & "Dirty Gold"

December 6, 2006

WASHINGTON, DC --- In advance of Friday's release of the new movie Blood Diamond, today international development organization Oxfam America and environmental group EARTHWORKS called on the jewelry and mining industries to ensure that gold, diamonds, and other minerals are independently certified to meet human rights, environmental and social standards. Since 2004, the groups' No Dirty Gold campaign ( has pressured companies to commit to protecting human rights and environmental standards in the gold-mining industry.

Since the launch of the campaign, more than a dozen jewelers have made the commitment to work toward certified gold.

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Tagged with: mining, gold, no dirty gold, oxfam

Glamis Gold Caught Under-Reporting Mercury Releases

November 15, 2006

Reno -- Glamis Gold Ltd. has been caught seriously under-reporting mercury pollution from its Marigold Mine in Humboldt County. The company recently changed its reported mercury emissions for the past four years. Glamis' changes come after three conservation groups filed a notice warning the gold mining company that they would take legal action if the company did not fully disclose their toxic mercury air emissions as required by the Community Right to Know Act. The notice of intent to sue was filed by Great Basin Mine Watch, Idaho Conservation League and Earthworks against Glamis Gold Ltd. in August.

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

Coeur d'Alene Mines' Rochester Mine: Company Under-Reports Toxic Mercury Emissions

September 21, 2006

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Tagged with: mining, epa, toxics, new york, mercury

'Prove it': Groups challenge World Bank to demonstrate the development impacts of its gold mining investments

September 18, 2006

Singapore and Washington, DC: Today, civil society organizations released a briefing paper which details social and environmental problems at gold mines supported by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank's private sector arm, and challenges the institution to prove that its mining projects are reducing poverty and improving people's lives. It calls on the IFC to report on development impacts on a project-by-project basis, and to invest in other areas if such projects are found not to be benefiting the poor.

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Tagged with: mining, gold, gold mining, world bank, ifc

Abandoned Mine Legislation a Missed Opportunity

September 13, 2006

Washington, D.C. -- Though well-intentioned, the hardrock abandoned mine legislation passed today by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will do little to solve the problems from old mines. Instead, it creates new loopholes in environmental laws for mining companies.

In the West, the biggest obstacle to tackling water pollution from old mines is the lack of funding. States, local governments, and local non-profit organizations simply don't have the resources to act as "Good Samaritans" to clean up the rivers and streams. Chairman's Inhofe's substitute to the bill originally introduced by Colorado Senators Wayne Allard and Ken Salazar, S. 1848, falls short of its goal to reduce water pollution.

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Tagged with: mining, abandoned mines, mining reform, clean water, legislature


No Dirty Gold campaign, SEACC

July 13, 2006

Juneau and Washington, DC: More than 1,500 consumers sent letters to the World Gold Council (WGC) and Idaho-based Coeur D'Alene Mines Corporation this week urging them to protect clean water and not use rivers, lakes, streams, and oceans as dumps for mine waste.

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Tagged with: no dirty gold, submarine tailings disposal, kensington mine, oxfam america, seacc, coeur d'alene mines corp.


No Dirty Gold campaign

June 1, 2006

Washington, DC -- The No Dirty Gold campaign applauded the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG) for adopting a resolution that calls upon the mining industry to produce gold in an ethical way that respects environmental, social, and human rights standards.

"We're pleased that this prestigious organization of metalsmiths and jewelry artists has lent its voice in support of an alternative to irresponsibly mined gold," said Radhika Sarin, international campaign coordinator with EARTHWORKS.

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Tagged with: no dirty gold, jewelry retailers, snag

Administration "Good Samaritan" Mine Cleanup Bill Comes Up Short

May 10, 2006

Washington, D.C. -- EARTHWORKS has been working for over a decade to bring attention to the serious issue of abandoned metal mines in the West. Communities, agricultural lands, and our fish and wildlife resources are at risk from the water pollution caused by these old mines. A real solution is needed to address this pervasive problem that affects many western watersheds.

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Tagged with: mining, epa, abandoned mines, mining reform

EPA: Metal Mining Most Toxic Industry in America

April 13, 2006

Multinational companies that mine metals--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 yesterday.

According to theTRI,1.1 billion pounds of toxics were released by the metal mining industry, also known as hardrock mining, in 2004--25% of all toxics released by U.S. industry overall. This includes 105 million pounds of arsenic, 369 million pounds of lead and 4 million pounds of mercury.

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Tagged with: mining, toxics, mercury, tri

Interior Secretary Gale Norton Resigns

March 10, 2006

Gale Norton leaves a legacy of unprecedented kowtowing to extractive industries at the expense of the public interest. Among her actions on behalf of the mining industry she:

    * eviscerated environmental mining regulations that protected the public and public waters from destructive mining practices;
    * issued a legal opinion that effectively legalized unlimited toxic mine waste dumping on public lands;
    * set a horrible precedent in permitting a gold mine that will pollute surface and groundwater for tens of thousands of years.

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Tagged with: mining, interior department

Eight of the World's Leading Jewelry Retailers Urge Mining Industry To Clean Up

February 13, 2006

New York City- For the first time ever, eight of the world's top jewelry retailers have pledged to move away from "dirty" gold sales and are calling on mining corporations to ensure that gold is produced in more socially and environmentally responsible ways. The retailers, which are the Zale Corp., the Signet Group (the parent firm of Sterling and Kay Jewelers), Tiffany & Co., Helzberg Diamonds, Fortunoff, Cartier, Piaget, and Van Cleef & Arpels, are being praised by the No Dirty Gold campaign today in a full-page ad in The New York Times, timed to coincide with Valentine's Day, one of the biggest jewelry-buying holidays in the United States.

"Because jewelry retailers buy the majority of gold produced worldwide, they have the power to help clean up the mining industry," said Payal Sampat, co-director of the No Dirty Gold campaign and international campaign director for EARTHWORKS. "We applaud the leadership of these companies. It's an important first step."

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Tagged with: gold, no dirty gold, jewelry retailers, golden rules

World Bank Criticized over Approval of Controversial Gold Mine in Ghana

February 2, 2006

On January 31, 2006, the Board of Directors of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank's private sector arm, approved loans amounting to USD $125 million for Denver-based Newmont Mining Company's controversial Afaho gold mining project in Ghana. Ghanaian and international human rights and environmental NGOs had previously called on the IFC Board to postpone loan consideration until IFC and Newmont had fully addressed the project's human rights and environmental problems.

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Tagged with: mining, gold, international, ghana

World Bank Urged to Postone Loan for Controversial Gold Mine in Ghana

January 30, 2006

A group of Ghanaian and international organizations is urging the World Bank to postpone funding for a new gold mining project in Ghana until the Bank addresses the project's human rights and environmental problems. Tomorrow, the Bank's Board of Directors is to consider loans of $125 million by the International Finance Corporation (the Bank's private sector arm) to Newmont Mining Corporation, one of the world's largest mining companies, for the development of the Ahafo gold mine project in western Ghana.

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Tagged with: mining, gold, international, world bank, ghana, miga

Controversial Mining Subtitle Withdrawn from Budget Bill

December 13, 2005

Today, December 13, 2005, Congressman Jim Gibbons (R-Nevada), Chairman of the House Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee announced that he was officially dropping the controversial mining provisions that he and House Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo (R-California) inserted into a budget reconciliation bill.

"We applaud Congressman Gibbons' decision to drop the mining subtitle from the budget reconciliation bill," said Stephen D'Esposito, president of EARTHWORKS. "We welcome the call of Representative Gibbons, and the call of Senators around the West from both parties, to consider meaningful mining reform in the coming year and we look forward to working with all parties to promote the multiple goals of protecting communities and our public lands, safeguarding our natural resource heritage, and ensuring economic development and responsible mining practices."

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Tagged with: mining, public lands, congress

Jewelers of America Urges Congress To Strip Pombo's Land Grab from Budget Reconciliation Bill

November 15, 2005

EARTHWORKS, Oxfam America, and Westerners for Responsible Mining applaud commitment by nation's leading retail jewelers to protect America's treasured public lands, including the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness

Washington, DC--Jewelers of America, the nation's largest retail jewelry trade association, sent a letter to Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert on Monday night urging him to strip controversial 'mining' provisions from the House budget reconciliation bill. The letter, signed by Jewelers of America President and CEO Matthew A. Runci, expressed grave concern that the mining provisions authored by House Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo (R-California) "would result in a massive giveaway of public land giveaway to corporations and private interests."

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Tagged with: no dirty gold, jewelry retailers, congress

Groups Urge Ghana Government to Audit North American Mining Company

October 18, 2005

Accra, Heidelberg, and Washington DC: Today, EARTHWORKS, FIAN International, and the Wassa Association of Communities affected by Mining (WACAM) are calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Ghana to conduct an environmental audit of Bogoso Gold Limited's gold mining operations in Prestea in the Western Region of Ghana, and to renew the suspension of the mine until community concerns about environmental pollution and human rights abuses are addressed. Bogoso Gold Limited (BGL) is a subsidiary of US-Canadian gold mining company Golden Star Resources. Golden Star Resources is a member of the London-based World Gold Council, an international association of gold mining companies operating in 22 countries.

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Tagged with: mining, gold, international, ghana

New Tests Show Returning Residents at Risk from Katrina's Toxic Sediments

October 14, 2005

NEW ORLEANS, LA. -- Flooding associated with Hurricane Katrina deposited a layer of sediment in many areas of south east Louisiana. On September 16, 2005, Subra Company was assisted by Altamont Environmental with sediment and surface water sampling in five residential areas in New Orleans, Chalmette and Meraux that were impacted by flood waters from Hurricane Katrina. The sampling was conducted to assess potential organic and inorganic contamination of those residential areas.

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Tagged with: public health, toxics

No Dirty Gold Campaign Launches New Ad Campaign

No Dirty Gold campaign

October 11, 2005

WASHINGTON, DC -- This week, the No Dirty Gold campaign took out the first in a series of ads to be published in national publications.  The ads call on jewelry firms, and other businesses that use gold, to insist the gold they buy--and sell--is produced in ways that do not harm communities, workers, and the environment. The first ad is running in National Jeweler magazine, a leading U.S. jewelry publication.

"Jewelry CEOs may not be driving the bulldozers at mines, but as the leading end-users of gold, they're in a unique position to help clean up irresponsible mining practices,' said Payal Sampat, EARTHWORKS' No Dirty Gold campaign director. Jewelry accounts for more than 80 percent of gold use each year.

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Tagged with: no dirty gold, jewelry retailers, national jeweler

Fans Urge Alicia Keys to Say No to Dirty Gold Mining

September 27, 2005

Washington, DC - Thousands of music fans and college students from around the country are sending letters to singer-songwriter Alicia Keys who was featured this past summer in Vogue and Vanity Fair as part of a new jewelry advertising campaign launched by the World Gold Council and its member mining companies to boost gold consumption. Thus far, over 2,500 supporters have written to Keys' publicists and management team.

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Congressional Proposal Would Allow Mining Companies to Purchase Public Land Without Restriction

September 23, 2005

Washington, DC -  House Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo (R-CA) has written draft legislation for the budget reconciliation bill that would alter the 1872 Mining Law and repeal a 10-year moratorium on the selling of public land to multi-national mining companies. Congress plans to start the budget reconciliation process this month.

If the patent moratorium is repealed, treasured places throughout the West could be permanently removed from America's system of public lands. As a result, those Americans who hunt, fish, hike, and recreate in these areas will be permanently denied the access they currently enjoy.  The fate of rivers and streams running through these lands, providing water for agriculture and municipalities, will be left largely to mining companies to determine, as will the health of wildlife and game habitat.

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Tagged with: 1872 mining law, congress, moratorium

ASARCO Bankruptcy To Leave U.S. Taxpayers With Billion Dollar Clean-Up Bill

August 10, 2005

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Tagged with: mining, abandoned mines, taxpayers, bankruptcy

Corps Permit Undermine Clean Water Act

June 22, 2005

Juneau, Alaska - The Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) today issued a precedent-setting permit that will allow a mining company to dump 4.5 million tons of chemically-processed mine waste directly into Lower Slate Lake on the Tongass National Forest, effectively turning the freshwater lake into a dead zone. The permit clears the way for final approval of Coeur Alaska's proposed Kensington gold mine, whose facilities would stretch across the Berners Bay watershed, which is home to sea lions, humpback whales, four species of wild salmon, bald eagles, brown and black bears, and moose.

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Tagged with: mining, epa, gold, alaska, clean water act

EPA Cites Gold Mines as Largest Source of Toxic Mercury Air Emissions in Nevada, Utah, Idaho

May 11, 2005

Washington, DC - The Environmental Protection Agency released the 2003 Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data today, which documents gold mines as the largest source of mercury air emission in the tri-state region of Utah, Idaho and Nevada. These toxic emissions are largely released by mines that use ore roasters to process the gold. Under this process, the mercury residing in the ore is released into the air when the ore is heated to extract the gold. Although these ore roasters are located in Nevada, air emissions from these mines can travel great distances, affecting a broad geographic area, including neighboring states Idaho and Utah.

The Cortez Gold Mine, owned by the Canadian company Placer Dome, is the largest source of mercury in the area, reporting a releasing 1,378 pounds into the air in 2003. Barrick's Goldstrike mine reports a release of 1,057 pounds.

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

Communities Urge Gold Miner Newmont to Reform

No Dirty Gold campaign

April 27, 2005

Denver - Representatives from Ghana, Indonesia, Peru, Romania, and Nevada today called on Newmont Mining, the world's largest gold producer, to urgently reform its human rights and environmental practices at its global operations. Speaking at the company's annual shareholder meeting, representatives demanded that Newmont fully respect human rights, stop intimidation of farmers, community members and individuals critical of its operations, and stop dumping mine wastes into the ocean. They also called on the company to permanently cancel plans for new, open-pit mines on densely populated farmland in Romania, in a Ghanaian forest reserve, and on a mountain in Peru that is a source of community drinking water.

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Tagged with: no dirty gold, newmont, western shoshone, grufides, wahli, wacam

Romanian Gold Mining Activist Wins Prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize

April 18, 2005

San Francisco, CA: Stephanie Roth, a mining activist in Romania, has been awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize. Considered the Nobel Prize for the Environment, the Goldman Environmental Prize is awarded each year to outstanding grassroots environmentalists from each of the six continental regions. Roth is this year's European winner. The award draws attention to the considerable environmental and human impacts of gold mining.

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Tagged with: mining, international, romania, goldman prize

EPA Whistleblower, Experts Issue Warning on Hydraulic Fracturing

April 13, 2005

APRIL 13, 2005 - A widely-used oil and gas production technique is threatening drinking water supplies in many states and should be regulated to protect human health and property values, a panel of experts said today.

During a national teleconference discussion on "hydraulic fracturing" (also known as "fracking"), an Environmental Protection Agency whistle-blower joined municipal water managers, geochemists and private landowners from across the country in calling on Congress and the EPA to protect drinking water supplies from fracking.  The technique has impacted drinking water supplies in at least three states.

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, public health, congress

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