Dirty Metals

Mining, Communities, and the Environment

The purpose of this report is to show you how much metal there is in your life—from the gold in your jewelry to the aluminum in your automobile—and to explain how it was produced. If you live in the United States, your annual consumption of "newly-mined" minerals (as opposed to those produced from recycling) comes to 21 metric tons*—just over 57 kilos a day. This report will show you what lies behind that stupendous lode of copper and tantalum, gold and platinum. We'll explain how the mining of these and other metals damages landscapes, pollutes water, and poisons people. We'll show you why modern, industrial mining is one of the world’s most destructive industries. And finally, we'll show you what we as consumers and concerned citizens can do to clean it up.

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Research

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