The Dirty, Horrible Tie between Human Trafficking and Gold Mining

We have written about green gold before on this blog. Green gold is gold that has been acquired from sources which, unlike a lot of mining, do not harm soil, streams and air. Gold that has been acquired by recycling older gold items is called green, for example, and for a very simple reason. Every ounce of gold that is made available by recycling is an ounce of gold that didn’t have to be mined from the earth.

Dirty gold is bad enough in and of itself, because of all the harm that it does. But the story of gold gets even worse than that, because of another factor…

Women pan for gold along the Dagua River in Zaragoza, Colombia, Wednesday, July 8, 2009. Several families make a living by sifting through the silt of Dagua River in search for gold which they sell for US$20 per gram. (AP Photo/Christian Escobar Mora) CREDIT: AP PHOTO/CHRISTIAN ESCOBAR MORA. From article cited.

Women pan for gold along the Dagua River in Zaragoza, Colombia, Wednesday, July 8, 2009. Several families make a living by sifting through the silt of Dagua River in search for gold which they sell for US$20 per gram. (AP Photo/Christian Escobar Mora) CREDIT: AP PHOTO/CHRISTIAN ESCOBAR MORA. From article cited.

The horrible abuse and working conditions that gold miners suffer in many parts of the world.

And Now, the Story Gets Worse

Working conditions are nothing less than horrific for gold miners in many parts of the world. But they are now even worse than bad in certain third-world countries, because children are being sold into slavery as gold miners. 

To quote from “Thanks To Illegal Mining, Colombia Has More Displaced People Than Any Other Country, Except Syria,” an article that Esther Yu Hi Lee wrote on July 29th for ThinkProgress.org...
 
“Child labor is so rampant in illegal gold mining in Peru and Colombia that it’s not uncommon to find 200 to 400 children working in a single mine. It’s also likely between 450 and 600 children as young as eight years old work in Colombian mines.”

In the article, Ms. Lee tells the story of a 16-year-old boy in Peru who was sold to an illegal gold mining operation. He was forced to work without shoes. He got malaria, a fungal infection and yellow fever and almost died.

How Can We Avoid Adding to the Harm?

At Specialty Metals, we have found a simple way to remember how to stop contributing to all the problems and suffering that gold mining can cause. We call it “The Three R’s”…

  • Refrain from buying gold from sources that do not specify where the gold they sell comes from.
  • Recycle and refine gold from older sources of gold instead of buying gold that has been recently mined.
  • Repurpose gold by finding new uses for older gold items that you own. You can, for example, have a jeweler turn old pieces of jewelry into something new. Or you can have that jeweler fashion jewelry from gold that we have obtained for you from sources like gold scrap, electronic components, and other items.

We Are Here to Help

If you have older gold-bearing items of any kind, call our gold refinery at 800-426-2344 and speak with one of our gold recycling specialists. Also be sure to ask whether your items qualify for free or discounted shipping to us for testing.

Related Posts:

Tiffany’s Retired Chief Executive Argues for Responsible Gold Mining  
Why Recycling Metals is Socially and Environmentally Responsible  
Become a Rich Environmentalist by Recycling Precious Metals  
What Will Happen to Gold Prices if Donald Trump Becomes President