Xeni Gwet’in Mining Activist Wins Goldman Environmental Prize

April 20, 2015 • Payal Sampat

We are thrilled to join the Goldman Environmental Prize, the world's largest prize for grassroots environmental activism, in honoring Xeni Gwet’in leader Marilyn Baptiste of British Columbia, Canada for her work to stop Taseko Mines' proposed Prosperity gold and copper mine.

We are thrilled to join the Goldman Environmental Prize, the world's largest award for grassroots environmental activism, in honoring Xeni Gwet’in leader Marilyn Baptiste of British Columbia, Canada for her work to stop Taseko Mines' proposed Prosperity gold and copper mine.

2014 Year-End Mining Industry Scorecard

December 31, 2014 • Payal Sampat

During these last few hours of 2014, it's a perfect time to reflect on the signs of hope and the abject fails provided by the multinational mining industry.

We leave it to you, dear reader, to decide whether the good outweighs the bad or vice versa.

Moms Lead the Charge Against Dirty Gold Mining

May 9, 2014 • Payal Sampat

It’s almost Mother’s Day! Whatever your feelings about manufactured holidays, it’s always a good idea to give thanks to mom. So call her, take her out to lunch, send her (fair trade) flowers, or have your kids make her a handmade card.

But think twice before buying her a shiny piece of gold bling. Mother’s Day is the second largest gold-jewelry buying day of the year in the United States. But many of us buying jewelry for our moms may unknowingly be hurting mothers and children who live in places where the gold is mined. Producing enough gold for a 0.3 ounce gold band generates 20 tons of mine waste — much of which is contaminated with chemicals such as cyanide or mercury. Massive pollution, huge open pits, devastating community health effects, worker dangers and, in many cases, human rights abuses have become hallmarks of gold and metals mining in countries such as Peru, Indonesia, Ghana, Guatemala and parts of the United States.

Over 80 groups sign statement opposing intimidation and forced displacement of mining protesters in Peru

April 24, 2014 • Payal Sampat

This week, Newmont Mining Co. held its annual shareholders’ meeting.

As it has done for the past several years, the event took place at the Hotel DuPont in Wilmington, Delaware, more than a thousand miles from its headquarters in Colorado, and far from the protesters and media attention that typified its meetings when they were held in downtown Denver. 

But despite keeping its shareholder meeting under wraps, Newmont has not escaped either controversy or protesters.

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To Restore Olympic Shine, Start with the Medals

March 4, 2014 • Payal Sampat

The Sochi Games couldn’t have gone much better for Vladimir Putin. He has successfully used the prestige of the Olympics to bolster his reputation in Russia—all while blanketing concerns like gay rights, free speech and corruption under a layer of wet Sochi snow. (Though his intervention in Ukraine may dwarf all). For the reputation of the Olympics, however, the Sochi Games leave a mixed legacy. The world is now wondering whether the Olympics, a showcase for values like excellence and fair play, are as morally agnostic as they seem.

Romania Votes “No” on Rosia Montana Open-Pit Mine

November 12, 2013 • Payal Sampat

Good news: The Romanian parliament rejected the proposed Rosia Montana open-pit gold mine on Monday, after months of protests on the streets of Bucharest and around the world. As we've blogged about before, this mine proposal epitomizes “dirty gold” for many reasons.

Of vampires and a zombie mine in Transylvania

September 8, 2013 • Payal Sampat

Transylvania, Romania, is known for its fictional vampires – this is the region where Bram Stoker set his classic vampire novel, Dracula, in 1897.  Over a century later, the region is threatened not by fictional vampires but a very real –and far scarier –monster: the Rosia  Montana mine.

Environmental activist arrested and brutalized for opposing Newmont’s Conga gold mine

July 5, 2012 • Payal Sampat

What is going on in Peru?

On July 4, riot police in Peru surrounded Father Marco Arana, a Catholic priest and human rights and environmental activist, as he sat peacefully on a bench Cajamarca’s town square.  The police officers proceeded to kick, punch and beat Father Marco,  forcing him to the ground and surrounding him – all of which was captured on cell phone video cameras and immediately posted online. He was then arrested and forcibly taken to the police station, where we learned through his Twitter feed, he continued to be beaten and brutalized.