5 Most Controversial Mining Projects

5 Most Controversial Mining Projects

Mining has generally been controversial in many aspects. Acquiring important metals and elements could possibly impose harm to local inhabitants and environment. We have summed up all the most controversial mining projects in 2013:

Greece: Skouries Gold Mine

[Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Skouries_July_2013.JPG ]
In November 9, 2013, a peaceful march was held in Thessaloniki, Greece, where thousands of people attended. The Skouries Gold Mine project aims to acquire gold within lush forest of Greece, thus, everyone was worried as it might harm the environment.

The country was facing employment problems during those times. About 27% of the population do not have a job and opening a mining location could probably give solution to their problems. However, according to Coordinating Committee of Associations of Stageira-Akanthos Against Gold Mining, a citizen movement that aims to stop the project says the adverse effect is not really something that residents should grab. The 180 hectare of forest that will be ruined will affect a bigger percentage of the population.

Colombia: La Colosa Gold Project

[Source: http://www.mining-technology.com/projects/la-colosa/images/2-gold-mine.jpg]AngloGold Ashanti, one of the top mining companies all over the world, invested as much as $255 Million for their La Colosa gold project which is located in Tolima district of Colombia. However, local communities together with international human rights organisations including the Colombia Solidarity Campaign,  wanted to stop the project because of environmental issues.

The project should begin on 2016 to acquire over 24Moz of gold resources, but was delayed until 2019.

Argentina/Chile: Pascua-Lama Gold-Silver Project

[Source: http://us-cdn.creamermedia.co.za/assets/articles/images/resized/0000266747_resized_barrickpascualamaonline.jpg ]
The Pascua-Lama gold-silver project is located in Andes Mountain, border of Argentina and Chile. The location is said to have 17.9Moz of gold and about 676Moz of silver. Unfortunately, several environment hurdles arose such as potential impact on glaciers  in the vicinity. Thus, Chilean Court issued an order to terminate the mining project in April 2013.

Romania: Rosia Montana

Rosia Montana is among the biggest mining venture in Europe. It aims to acquire both gold and silver on the project. However, an outcry occurred because the project will be using cyanide to acquire gold. It is also said that it could damage the Roman gold mine galleries in the world, a site that otherwise qualify as an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Up until this year, the project is still controversial. According to some, the Romanian Government plans to pass a law that could still keep the doors open for the Rosia Montana project.

Rosia Montana is said to have 10.1Moz of gold and 47.6Moz of silver reserve.

Alaska, USA: Pebble


Pebble could possibly be the world’s biggest multi-metal mine. It is said to have as much as 80.6 billion pounds of copper, 5.6 billion pounds of molybdenum, and 107.4 million ounces (Moz) of gold resources. On the other hand, it is the most controversial mining projects in the US because of its locations. Pebble is located in  the Bristol Bay Region in south-west Alaska, a popular fishing area which has also been known as the “America’s fish basket”.

Local tribes and fishing community centres resisted on the project because of the fear that it could affect the fishing industry. Tests and researches were done so as to assess if the mining project could really harm the salmons and other marine life in the area.


These are said to be the most controversial mining projects all over the world. Though precious stones and elements could be acquired through mining, we must not neglect the fact that if done carelessly, it could impose harm to our environment.