Tag Archives: luxury

Anonymous Engineer Discusses Gold Mining

7022005691_f555a7bef0_zDid you know that a metric ton of electronic waste can contain 8 to 16 ounces of gold? Whether we like it or not, precious metals show up in more than just that gold necklace or platinum ring we might have purchased – from the titanium used in our high-end mountain bikes, to platinum in our cellphones, to silver in our solar panels, precious metals are all around us. And the mining of these materials often comes with a steep social and environmental cost. This week on Sea Change Radio, we talk with an engineer who has chosen to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal from his former employer, a large gold-mining enterprise. We learn about the use of water in the extraction of precious metals, how common mining practices create hazardous slurry ponds, and the enormous amount of energy required to carry out these operations in remote locations. Then, we dig deep into the Sea Change archives to hear from Jem Bendell about the unlikely intersection between luxury and sustainability.