A Canadian gold mining company, Pacific Rim, is bullying El Salvador with a $315-million claim, after El Salvador halted the company's mining efforts. El Salvador is resisting mining efforts after a 2008 mining project polluted a local water supply and sparked a clean water crisis.
According to The Washington Post, there are other valid environmental concerns associated with the mining industry:
-- Mining requires a lot of energy to move tons of rock.
-- Mining can result in toxic mine drainage, i.e. sulfuric acid, arsenic and copper finding its way into lakes, rivers and streams. It's bad for marine life, wildlife, ecosystems and people.
-- In gold mining operations, ore is usually roasted and mercury is released into the atmosphere.
-- After extraction, ore is usually "doused in cyanide." Cyanide is totally lethal stuff!
-- Cyanide enables operators to dig for more gold in deeper places. So there's more leftover tailings -- the material after the ore has been processed. Unfortunately, "Gold tailing ponds and piles are chock-full of contaminants such as arsenic, antimony, residual cyanide and mercury."
Pacific Rim needs to stop intimidating the small Central American country. El Salvador has the right to protect its people and land over Canadian monetary interests. The country's environmental concerns are real. Sign and share this petition demanding Pacific Rim stop being a bully and show your support for the Salvadoran people, wildlife and environment -- the ones who will truly lose if something goes wrong.