Published reports related to mining

Dirty Metals: Mining Communities and the Environment


This reportis a detailed account of how metals are produced, published in 2004 by EARTHWORKS and Oxfam America. It contains some astounding figures about the mining industry. Mining is responsible for 90 percent of US arsenic emissions. It can result in groundwater that is thousands of times more acid than battery acid. Mining employs only 0.09 percent of the global workforce and is responsible for up to 10 percent of the world energy consumption. They report that there are 79 tons of mine waste for every ounce of gold and that 50 percent of newly mined gold is taken from native lands. Did you know that if you live in the United States your annual consumption of "newly-mined"minerals comes to  21 metric tonnes, over 57 kilos a day? This report details the massive pollution, huge open pits, devastating community health effects, worker dangers and, in many cases, human rights abuses that have become hallmarks of gold and metals mining in countries such as Peru, Indonesia, Ghana and in parts of the United States. 


Predicting Water Quality Problems at Hardrock Mines: A Failure of Science, Oversight and Good Practice pdf

This EARTHWORKS white paper, published in 2006, is a summary, written for the layperson, of the findings of a two-year research study on the accuracy of water quality predictions at hardrock mines. The study, conducted by Jim Kuipers and Ann Maest, brings to light a decades-long failure by government regulators,industry, and consultants to recognize and correct deficient procedures and methods for predicting contamination of water at hardrock mines.

Kuipers and Maest have discovered that, in practice, there is a failure to compare predictions made before the mines are permitted with the actual results. The predictive modeling results are not adjusted to account for real-life failures—this, despite the fact that at the vast majority of mines, problems were worse than predicted. Establishment of credibility in modeling requires that the predictions be tested, and then the models adjusted based on the results. This process appears broken when it comes to predicting the impact of mines on water quality for mine permits.


 Gold’s Costly Dividend:  Human Rights Impacts of Papua New Guinea’s Porgera Gold Mine

Private security personnel employed at a gold mine in Papua New Guinea have been implicated in alleged gang rapes and other violent abuses, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Porgera mine has produced billions of dollars of gold in its twenty years of operation, and  is operated and 95 percent owned by Barrick Gold, a Canadian company that is the world's largest gold producer.

This Human Rights Watch Report report identifies systemic failures on the part of Toronto-based Barrick Gold that kept the company from recognizing the risk of abuses, and responding to allegations that abuses had occurred. The report examines the impact of Canada's failure to regulate the overseas activities of its companies and also calls on Barrick to address environmental and health concerns around the mine with greater transparency.