Bristol Bay, Alaska. Credit: echoforsberg, CC.
Jewelry retailers, representing over $US 2 billion in sales in the United States, pledged support to protect Alaska's Bristol Bay this past week, and have vowed to not buy gold from the proposed large-scale metal mine, including the controversial Pebble Mine. The twelve jewelers include retail giant Zale Corp. and independent jewelers Toby Pomeroy and Alberto Parada join Tiffany & Co., and twenty other jewelers committed to protecting the source of roughly 50 percent of the world's commercial supply of sockeye salmon in Alaska. Altogether jewelers that have signed the pledge to protect Alaska's Bristol Bay, represent a total of over $US 6 billion in annual sales. More from Earthworks, below.
The mine proposed at the headwaters of Bristol Bay is projected to be the largest in North America, generating billions of tons of mine waste and industrializing important salmon habitat in the heart of the world's last great wild sockeye salmon fishery. London-based mining giant Anglo American and Vancouver-based Northern Dynasty are partners in the project. The two companies recently announced plans to invest another $US 73 million into the project this year, with plans to submit mine permit applications in 2011.
Earthworks' Bonnie Gestring says, "The customer is always right, and we expect smart suppliers like Anglo American and Northern Dynasty to listen to their customers. These leading jewelers are just saying 'no' to gold from harmful mining in Bristol Bay. These jewelers know that shoppers in their stores care that the gold that they purchase doesn't come at the expense of international treasures like Bristol Bay.
Considering the current amount of already-mined gold could satisfy demand for fifty years (much of it currently sits in bank vaults and in old, unused jewelry), it is beyond me why we continue to mine more. More than 60 jewelry retailers have signed Earthworks No Dirty Gold campaign, is your jeweler one of them?
Visit Our Bristol Bay, for more.