Jewelers urge protection for Alaska’s Bristol Bay

Jewelers urge protection for Alaska’s Bristol Bay

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John Ahni Schertow
February 20, 2008
 

Last week, five of America’s leading jewellery retailers announced their support for the protection of Alaska’s Bristol Bay from large-scale mining; particularly against the proposed Pebble gold-copper mine.

Featured in the report, Golden Rules: Making the Case for More Responsible Mining (pdf), the proposed Pebble mine would come to be “the largest mine in North America, covering over 15 square miles (39 square kilometres) of land and generating more than 3 billion tons of mine waste over its life. The waste [would] be impounded in a seismically active area behind a number of dams. If built to the proposed dimensions, two of these dams will be the largest in the world—far bigger than the giant Three Gorges Dam in China.

The project world utterly devastate the Bristol Bay watershed, and with it a wealth of natural resources:

The subsistence way of life for the many region’s indigenous communities would also be profoundly impacted, possibly lost for future generations.

The recent pledge by the 5 retailers — Tiffany & Co., Ben Bridge Jeweller, Helzberg Diamonds, Fortunoff, and Leber Jeweller, Inc. — brings the number of businesses around the world supporting clean gold up to 28—a number backed by no less than 100,000 consumers from over 100 countries who have signed on to support ‘the Golden Rules—‘ which are social, human rights, and environmental criteria for more responsible mining of gold and other precious metals.

The rules call on mining companies to meet the following basic standards:

To learn more about the No Dirty gold campaign, or to sign the pledge yourself, please head over to www.nodirtygold.org

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