WATER IS WORTH MORE THAN GOLD! Baja California Sur vehemently OPPOSES the Concordia Gold (Paredones Amarillos) open pit gold mine because of the irreparable damage it will cause to our community and the Sierra de la Laguna Biosphere Reserve. For more information info@VistaGoldNo.com. For Spanish go to info@ParedonesAmarillosNO.com and http://ParedonesAmarillosNO.com.
1. WATER IS BORN IN THE SIERRA. While regions like La Paz, Todos Santos and Los Cabos get only a little less than 4 inches of rain every year, in the high parts of the Sierra the average yearly rainfall is around 40 inches. The Sierra de la Laguna is the main source of water for the southern part of our state.
2. THE SIERRA DE LA LAGUNA HAS THE ONLY PINE FOREST IN THE STATE. The biodiversity of the Sierra de la Laguna is unique in the world. This forest contains the highest number of species of any terrestrial ecosystem in the state, including species
that exist nowhere else in the world, like 86 endemic species of vascular plants.
3. THE SIERRA IS UNDER THREAT. In June 1994, the Sierra de la Laguna Biosphere
Reserve was created, in order to protect this important piece of our natural heritage. Nonetheless, plans are currently underway to build an open- pit gold mine inside this protected area, in the Paredones Amarillos region. Because of its location and the technology it would use, the construction of this mine would represent a significant threat to the Sierra de la Laguna, its biodiversity, and its role as the water source of thousands of people.
4. A GOLD MINE IS FAR OUTLIVED BY THE WASTE AND POLLUTION IT GENERATES. The Paredones Amarillos gold mine plans to operate for only 9.5 years. The impacts generated by the mine’s waste and the chemicals used in its operation remain toxic for a long time and can last hundreds of years.
5. GOLD MINES ARE VERY POLLUTING. Extracting gold from stones is a process that uses and generates extremely toxic chemicals that can pollute water sources, this process also relies heavily on daily detonations that have very harmful effects on wildlife. The deadliest of these chemicals include cyanide, arsenic, sulfuric acid, lead, mercury and other heavy metals that can have dramatic effects on human health and on ecosystems.
6. MOST NEW GOLD IS USED FOR JEWLERY. A very small percentage of newly minted gold is destined for technology or medicine-related uses. Worldwide, a large portion of gold production; more than 80% according to some of the reviewed sources, is used in the jewelry industry. The production of a single gold ring, for example, generates up to 20 tons of waste.
7. OPEN-PIT GOLD MINING CREATES MOUNTAINS OF WASTE. LITERALLY. The Paredones Amarillos mine plans to extract around 40 tons of gold during the 9.5 year operation of the mine. Producing this amount of gold, according to the mine’s own calculations, will generate a ton of waste, per each gram of gold. This represents the production, during 9.5 years, of 40 million tons of waste; roughly 11,000 tons every day.
8. GOLD MINES LEAVE BEHIND GIANT CRATERS WHERE ECOSYSTEMS USED TO BE. The Paredones Amarillos mine plans to dig a 58.7 hectare crater in the Sierra. This is roughly equivalent to the 36 city blocks, or 54 football fields.
9. OPEN PIT GOLD MINING HAS A DARK HISTORY IN MEXICO AND THE WORLD. Across the globe, from Africa to Central America, different communities have experienced first-hand the environmental and social impacts of open- pit god, mining. More and more, empowered communities have refused to allow mining inside or close to sensitive ecosystems.
10. THERE IS STILL TIME. In the coming months, decisions will be made in La Paz and Mexico City to allow or prohibit the construction of the Paredones Amarillos gold mine. You can help protect the Sierra de la Laguna. Distribute this document and stay tuned. In the next few weeks we will be proposing specific activities to protect the Sierra de la Laguna.