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Gold Mining In Colombia Essay

1675 words - 7 pages

For my research paper, I have chosen to examine the impact that gold mining has in Colombia. I chose this topic because I question the current economic vision that economists and managers have today. I wonder what would be the future of the world if we continue to exploit all of our natural resources. I ask myself: where is the respect and connection that business leaders should have with the environment? Therefore, I was intrigued by the current situation and future of Colombian natural resources. Additionally, I have always been interested in mining. My father, in fact, invests in mining companies, so I want to explore the reality of one of the biggest gold projects in Colombia, Santurban. Is it sustainable? First, I need to know the ideal definition for sustainable practices. I read The Sustainable Revolution where I realized that in order to be sustainable the world “[n]eeds to find a balance between the ecological, economic and social aspects of society” (kd;lslks). Hence, I will examine the consequences that the gold mines in Santurban have in Colombian society through a sustainability lens that includes the 3 E’s of The Sustainability Revolution, which are: ecology/environment, economy/employment, and equity/equality. Through this paper I will demonstrate that sustainable gold mining requires developing an alternative path that focuses on protecting the environment as well as economic interests.
Gold mining has had a significant economic, social, and environmental impact in Colombian history. Thousands of years ago artisanal mining in Colombia was a practice without any chemicals involved; however, since 1850 artisanal and industrial mines use chemicals to optimize gold extraction. Because of this, mining has become incompatible with the environment. Worse, multinational corporations arrived in Colombia to take advantage of weak environmental rules. These Multi-National Corporations’ interests are solely focused on making profit for their stakeholders instead of developing the communities around the mines and protecting the environment. They take all of the profits out of the country, leaving Colombia with social issues and a destroyed environment. Employees of these firms recently started to revolt against the corporations to improve labor conditions and the distribution of profits. As one can see, Colombia has a history of exploitative gold mining; this will only change if the Colombian government follows an ecological and social justice ideology.
I will narrow my gold mining research to The Santurban Paramo, a well-known case, where there has been a historic battle over the environment. The Santurban Paramo is the greatest hydric resource for eastern Colombia; however, over the last 20 years the government has allowed Multinational Corporations such as ECO Oro to use chemicals to expand their extraction of gold. Indeed, these chemicals have already affected the Paramo’s hydric resources. Another example of the environmental damage...

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