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Mining for bling

November 22, 2008

Vanguard journalist and Current TV producer Christof Putzel traces gold to its origins in one of Africa’s biggest gold mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Originally posted Aug. 6, 2006, this report remains current and so chilling we hope it’ll make you swear off bling this holiday season and forevermore.

One viewer commented, “Watchdog groups are now calling for ‘no dirty gold,’ similar to campaigns for conflict-free [blood] diamonds.” San Francisco writer Ann Garrison added, “The one thing missing was the role of foreign imperial powers in these wars that seem to be between Africans only. That’s not where the gold goes. … I recommend Breaking the Silence: Congo Week organized by Friends of the Congo.”

5 thoughts on “Mining for bling

  1. Ann Garrison

    Barrick Gold, an infamous Bush family investment, is among the worst corporate predators in Congo, under cover of civil war, which is really imperial resource war. “The main gold exploration ventures in Congo are those of Banro, a Canadian company cited for violations by the UN Security Council, and the Anglo-American/Barrick joint venture.”

  2. Tom Foremski

    The GAP advert “Winter Wonderland” that comes after this report is totally out of place! It is almost insulting.

  3. Meghan

    A single gold ring results in more than 20 tons of waste and metal mining is the largest toxic polluter in the United States.

    C5 company (based in the SF Bay Area) offers beautiful fine jewelry made exclusively from recycled metals.

    Wear Your Commitment.

  4. Ann Garrison

    Twenty tons of waste for a single gold ring. I couldn’t remember any statistics about this, but I knew Carrie Dann and the Western Shoshone were facing something like this at their sacred, healing Mt. Tenabo, which Barrick Gold is in the process of destroying with a cyanide leach mine.

  5. Ann Garrison

    Jewelers of America is no worried about an upcoming CBS special on gold mining. I sent this note to this e-address:



    Regarding the upcoming CBS special on gold mining, consider the Vanguard/Current TV special, “Mining for Bling,” which rose to one of the most read stories on the DIGG news aggregator, and was also published on the San Francisco Bay View, National Black Newspaper:

    Mining or bling

    Do something about it. Something besides PR and window dressing. I don’t know anyone who would want to own a diamond anymore, after learning of African diamond miners whose hands have been cut off to make sure they won’t steal the diamonds.


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