As international gold price hits records, mining companies are struck by gold fever. Gold mining is big business - the last decade, gold price has risen 346% - carried out on a massive scale.
To get a minimal idea of the huge environmental and social impact of this industrial activity, one should zoom in: what is needed for a 10 gr golden ring?
Lots of rock to be removed, lots of water spoiled and lots of toxic chemicals used, provoking local conflicts with affected communities all over the world. More in developing countries, where local regulations are weak and labor is cheap.
Zoom out again. An average gold mine produces more than just one ring a day: 25 kg to be exact. The last decade, a yearly average of 2.400 tons of gold was mined worldwide.
That's the equivalent of 240 million rings. And mountains of mining waste. Nothing shiny and tiny at all.