The Real Cost of Gold

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If there's a gold stud in your ear, or chain on your neck, or ring on your finger, you're part of the picture. A century and half after miners pulled gold nuggets out of river beds in California, the gold mining industry is now going to incredible lengths to blast and bore and leech every tiny fleck of gold out of the planet.

A single ounce of gold now means 30 tons of rock torn from the earth and drenched in cyanide to bring it to the jeweler's shelf. It's an ancient human appetite, now made voracious by global economic uncertainty and the rise of gold-hungry China and India.

Hear about dirty gold, and what it now takes to pull it from the Earth.


Bill O'Neill, Managing Director of Logic Advisors, a research and brokerage firm

Kirk Johnson, New York Times Bureau Chief in Denver

Payal Sampat, International Campaign Director for Earthworks, and director of the "No Dirty Gold" campaign

Ann Maest, geo-chemist

Russ Fields, President of the Nevada Mining Association

Alan Berger, Harvard Design School.

This program aired on October 28, 2005.


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