Large 7.5 ounce California gold nugget

Is There Such a Thing as “Dirty Gold”?

8 ounces of large Alaska gold nuggets

Does Gold Mining Distroy the Environment? There are folks who would tell you all gold is dirty and they want your money......

There is an anti mining website [""] that was created by a left wing anti-mining group which people sometimes ask about. According to them, there is no acceptable gold mining, period – all newly mined gold is termed “dirty gold”. They have little expertise or knowledge in the environmental field, and even less concerning the mining industry, and without evidence they claim that somehow all mining destroys the land or is a horrible threat to someone. You can note from their website that there is virtually no documentation for any of their allegations - its because 99% of the allegations are simply baseless. So what do they accomplish? Not a darn thing except fund raising!  


The organization is totally hypocritical as the people who run the website drive around in their cars made of newly mined "dirty" iron, zinc, copper, etc. You know they all live in houses plumbed with "dirty" copper pipe, their houses are also wired with copper, they drive cars wired with copper, use computers and cell phones wired with copper, etc. "Dirty" platinum and palladium reduces the smog emissions of the "dirty" gasoline they burn to run their dirty cars. They use the very "dirty" gold and silver they condemn in the contacts of all their electronic devices. Not just their phones and TVs, but the very computers they use to create their website to bash the mining industry contains that same "dirty" gold they are condemning, and telling you not to use! They love their nice luxurious electrically enhanced lives, and so are hypocrites to the extreme. “No Dirty Gold” is not the only one of these scammers. There are others like “Great Basin Mine Watch”, a phony organization located right here in my hometown of Reno. All of these anti-mining organizations use the very products they condemn. It's like a bunch of crack addicts holding a protest against crack makers, when they are the ones who buy the product and keep the makers in business. Just some more examples of "better than you" groups that do for themselves exactly what they preach that you shouldn't do!

The big “thing” at “no dirty gold” is the use of recycled gold. They say that recycled gold is already out of the ground and therefore somehow more environmentally friendly. The lie they don’t tell you is that the process of recycling gold involves strong acids (creating hazardous wastes) and incineration of electronic components (creating serious air pollution emissions and even more toxic waste). Environmentally speaking, recycled gold is probably WORSE than newly mined gold as far as pollution created per ounce of gold. So is there any validity to their claim that recycled gold is somehow environmentally better than newly mined gold? Of course not! But they have to keep up the lie so your money continues flowing into their coffers.

One of nodirtygold's chief targets is Couer 'Alene Mines. I have spent time at a Couer mine here in Nevada – and know it to be a clean operation. Yet this is one of the companies repeatedly attacked by “no dirty gold” on their web site. The Couer mine I have visited is their silver and gold mine at Rochester in Nevada. That mine is highly regulated and very clean. I have been there in person to see it. The folks in the nearby town are glad to have them in their county - for many years it has been the county's largest business and their taxes pay a considerable portion of the county budget. The environmental impacts of that mine are near zero. So don't let an extremist website full of baloney BS and little or no facts convince you somehow that all newly mined gold and silver are somehow "dirty". They are just a bunch of ignorant, hypocritical socialists simply looking for a hand out "donation".


Mining companies are subject to thousands upon thousands of laws limiting their effects on the environment. They must obtain and hold dozens of permits governing the impacts their operations. Here in the US, they must pay the government in advance for the cost for the reclamation for any land disturbed by their operations. They must pay for their own reclamation before they even turn their first shovel full of dirt. Mining is one of the most heavily regulated businesses out there. Yes, a century ago, miners made some serious environmental impacts. However this is not 1877, and things have changed. We have the EPA, BLM, MSHA and many other Federal, State and local government agencies to constantly regulate and minimize the impacts of their operations.

Reclaimed Nevada Gold Mine From a Distance

The other important point about all these groups who oppose all mining in the US is that they are increasing pollution in small developing nations populated mostly by minorities. The gold, copper and other resources have to come from somewhere, so it gets mined in Bolivia, or Namibia or someplace like that. These countries are poorly prepared to regulate the mines there and as a result, more pollution is created than per pound of metal mined than there would be if it were mined here. There is actually more pollution created on a worldwide basis than if the resources were mined here and used here. Supporting mining in the USA actually reduces worldwide pollution. The "not in my backyard" perspective promoted by these groups is actually a very selfish and self-centered one.

Ever wonder why these folks do these anti-mining websites? They basically are looking for money to support their phony organization. There is no question that the internet presents a significant opportunity for scam artists to shake down a generous American public. All you need is a website announcing a cause that pulls at America’s heartstrings. The goal is to find an easy cause that everyone can agree to – something like mom and apple pie. Mining companies make for an easy, faceless target. Mining companies are easily demagogued as so many who folks just don’t know the truth. They just think all miners are evil, planet destroying meanies. Once a target is selected, all you need to do is set up a website, claim your target is some kind of threat and then ask for money! The truth is unnecessary, just make accusations. After the money starts to pour in, you can live free on easy street with pockets full of cash. You need no qualifications, no special education, you don’t even have to do anything other than keep your money requesting website operational. Hire yourself to do nothing for a million a year or pay your kids $10,000 a month to play video games. It’s a completely legal swindle! A number of similar websites attacking related targets have been set up to dupe a generous but ill informed public.

ABOVE: Active Gold Mine in Operation

Here is the Same Gold Mine After Reclamation.  It just looks like an agricultural pasture.

So don’t buy the baloney, don’t fall for the lie, don’t drink the Kool-Aid! If you want to give some money to make the world a better place, find the local homeless shelter in your community. Most of these operations make highly efficient use of donated money to help those who are down and out. Any money donated to “no dirty gold” is wasted and accomplishes nothing of significance.

Unlike "" I am not asking for a hand out, nor am I paid by industry or government grant money. I am not a hypocrite telling you to do what I wont do myself - as they are. I post this information because I know it is the truth.


Want to know a little bit more about this crazy prospector guy? Well, here's a little bit more about me, and how I got into prospecting: Chris' Prospecting Story   Interested in seeing more gold? Here are some interesting photos of beautiful  Gold Nuggets

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