Ban Gold-mining

Take Action to protect Virginia from the dangers of commercial gold-mining

We have the right and the responsibility to protect the health, water, air and land of rural Buckingham and potentially millions of Commonwealth residents along the Virginia Gold-Pyrite Belt and downstream from the well known ravages of industrial gold mining.  

Scroll to the Take Action box below to speak up at the local and state levels. Below are quick resources, updates and timelines. Search the blog history for in-depth information. Watch informative videos.

Thanks to community members and state allies, and especially Delegate Guzman, we got legislation through the General Assembly in March 2021 to conduct a statewide, comprehensive study about the impacts of gold mining and evaluate existing regulations. The final bill HB2213 can be read here. This resulted in state agencies hiring the National Academies of Sciences (NASEM) to do the study. NASEM is readying to make its report to the General Assembly by December 1, 2022. Please voice your concerns!

Thank YOU! For your advocacy. 

We have yard signs, bumper stickers and pins! Please email for your signs: info@friendsofbuckinghamva.org

 

10 Major Concerns

1) Dewatering of mines impacting water table for miles around
2) Airborne toxins impacting the local area
3) Leaching of toxins into groundwater
4) Acid Mine Drainage
5) Catastrophic mine waste (tailings) dam failures
6) VA has no regulations on the use of cyanide
7) Forever toxic sites, leaving the forever burden to the taxpayers
8) Virginia’s rainfall is a huge problem – let alone the climate crisis with increasingly devastating storms
9) Local governments are enticed by tax revenue that will never cover the true costs
10) Negligible number of local jobs – most are specialized, imported from elsewhere

Take Action!

#1 Buckingham County residents and landowners:   a PETITION for you to sign:

Please ADD YOUR SUPPORT to the Community Bill of Rights, a proposed common sense ordinance that would protect the health, safety and general welfare of the residents and natural environment of Buckingham County:

  • Claims our right and responsibility to make decisions locally to protect our communities.
  • Protects us from the toxic trespass of industrial metallic mining.
  • Prove It First! Show us another metallic mine that has caused no harm.

Please sign and share this petition with othe Buckingham County residents. Please use this link:  bit.ly/bhamord.

To read the ordinance and more, visit the Virginia Community Rights Network (VACRN) landing page.

SPEAK UP! Your voice is needed! The ordinance has been presented to the Board of Supervisors. Tell them to adopt the rights-based ordinance! Second Mondays. 6 pm. Sign up to comment 5:30-5:55 pm.

#2 National Academies of Sciences gold mining study

The NASEM started writing their report for the next General Assembly in mid July. The deadline for comments is behind us. To find out more about their project click here.  

#3  Virginia Energy (formerly DMME): State Agency gold mining study work group (impacted VA communities)

Public Comment Forum: Make your comments Now! Go to the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall site. Comment period has been extended! through 10/28/2022.  For talking points, click here. 

For upcoming meetings, to attend  in person and to view past event recordings click here. The September 26 meeting recording is now available. The next meeting is Tuesday October 18, 9 am to Noon; in person or virtual. Location: Buckingham Community Center, 16268 N James Madison Highway, Dillwyn, VA 23936. Agenda TBA. “The main purpose of the meetings are to receive public comment from community members.” 

SAC draft report:  The state agency committee of the workgroup is currently drafting its companion document. To view the latest version, please click here. This document will be revised as sections are added and discussed at public meetings. To comment on the draft report, please click here or email goldstudy@energy.virginia.gov.

 

 

 Updates/Timeline in Brief

October 2022:

Next Board of Supervisor meeting: Tuesday 10/11, 6 pm (due to Monday’s holiday). Sign up to comment 5:30-5:55. Adopt the rights-based ordinance Now!

Next State Agency Component (SAC) work group meeting:  Tuesday, October 18 from 9 am – noon. See Take Action above for more info.

SAC draft report:  The state agency committee of the workgroup is currently drafting its companion document. To view the latest version, please click here. This document will be revised as sections are added and discussed at public meetings. To comment on the draft report, please click here to post to the public Town Hall (preferred as this is shared with the public) or email goldstudy@energy.virginia.gov.

September 2022: 

Next Board of Supervisor meeting (second Mondays): 9/12, 6 pm. Sign up to comment 5:30-5:55. Adopt the rights-based ordinance Now!

Comment Writing Party (online): Tuesday 9/13, 6:30 pm. Register here. Public comments are being received by the State Study through September 30, and your voice is needed to say NO to large-scale gold mining in VA. Press Pause Coalition

Next State Agency work group meetings: Monday September 26 from 9 am – noon. Tuesday October 18 from 9 am – noon.

August 2022:

State Agency work group meeting Friday August 26, 9 am to Noon, at the Buckingham Community Center

Buckingham Music & Meeting: Saturday August 27, 2:45; Union Grove Baptist Church, 2522 Shelton Store Road. In support of the proposed rights-based Freedom from Toxic Trespass Ordinance. Preparation for September 12 Board of Supervisors meeting.

July 2022:

VACRN & FoB submit comments to NAS and VA Regulatory Town Hall.  See article about partnership to advance rights-based ordinance to protect Buckingham from toxic trespass.
SELC and CBF  statewide coalition sign on to letter to NASEM 7/7/22

For past timeline information, see this document.

Quick Resources

  • The Statement of Task: to study the impacts of gold mining on Virginia, as agreed upon August 6, 2021 by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) and the state Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy (now Viginia Energy).
  • State Agency Statement of Task (SOT), posted 2/28/2022, for the State Agency Committee, including stakeholders. Posted on the Town Hall here.
  • Watch: Our most recent video, of October 2021, Meet our neighbors in rural Buckingham, VA, USA, who are speaking out to protect our community and all those downstream and downwind from the lethal toxicity of a proposed industrial gold mine.  16 minutes
  • Informational flyers on gold mining
  • 4 Maps of impacted communities: 1) DMME Virginia Gold Pyrite Belt & old mine sites (brownfields), 2) DMME, labeled counties, Gold Pyrite Belt & brownfields overlay, 3) VA Gold Pyrite Belt, NOVA insert  4) Warminster, Buckingham exploration sites.
  • Map: of Buckingham County abandoned metals mines. Thanks to Daniel Schaffer of Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance (ABRA).
  • Interactive map of gold drilling areas in Warminster area of Buckingham and communities impacted. Zoom out for existing brownfields in Buckingham County. More thanks to Dan Schaffer!
  • Map: Virginia Downstream Drinking Water Map (downstream from the gold pyrite belt, prime mining area east of the Appalachian Mountains). Thanks to Miller Cochran of Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC). And check out their flyer: “Gold mines harm public health and the environment“.
  • Follow developments here and at FoB Face Book.
  • Watch: Stop the gold mine in Virginia 11 minute video
  • Watch: Mine waste dam failure videos (warning – scary, and real): 2019 Brumadinho, Brasil Dam Collapse 3 minutes and 20 minutes.
  • Watch: Gold Prospecting in VA Educational Webinar 1/12/2021 One hour recording
  • Watch: Delegate Elizabeth Guzman’s press conference with us Friday 1/29/2021.

 

Videos

Ben Price: Why adopt a rights-based ordinance to protect our freedom from toxic trespass?
1 hr, 32 mins.

Share this 4-minute video on social media and with your decision-makers.

Gold Prospecting in VA Educational Webinar
January 12, 2021 One hour

Meet our neighbors in rural Buckingham, VA, USA, who are speaking out to protect our community and all those downstream and downwind from the lethal toxicity of a proposed industrial gold mine.
October 2021  16 minutes

How Virginia’s Gold Could Harm Your Community Gold mining webinar
Thursday March 18, 2021  One hour

The Dirty Truth About Gold Mining
One hour

News Posts

Virginia Gold Mining Study is launched

Virginia Gold Mining Study is launched

       The Virginia Department of Energy (formerly known as the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy) announces the gold mining study work groups. December 10 is the deadline to submit your name for consideration to be on the Department of Energy's workgroup. The...

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