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.

#2 National Academies of Sciences gold mining study

Your input matters! Please submit your concerns to NASEM now! They will begin writing their report for the next General Assembly in mid July. To give comment online click here.  In the upper right corner click on “Provide feedback on this project”. Click here for talking points. On the NASEM page scroll for more information on the study, recorded meetings, etc.

#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 through 9/30/2022. For talking points, click here.

For upcoming meetings, to attend  in person and to view past event recordings click here. Next meeting Thursday June 23 from 9 am-noon. Check out the agenda, venue and presenters here.

 

 

 Updates/Timeline in Brief

June 2022:
State Agency work group
next meeting June 23. Click here for details.

May 2022:
NASEM Town Hall: Wednesday May 25, at the Buckingham Community Center. Check out this post with videos of the event.
State Agency work group May 16 meeting recording: [Password is Xk7yfPpq]  At 30 minutes Dr. Steve Emerman; At 60 minutes Dr Daavid Pellow give compelling arguments for why there’s no place for industrial gold mining in VA.

February 2022: 
HB250: House panel rejects metals mining study February 7, 2022. We asked to pause permitting for new metallic mines (gold, copper, lead and zinc) while the NASEM studies the impacts  and makes recommendations for updating regulations to protect Virginia. See fact sheet here. Thanks to bypartisan sponsorship by Delegate Shelly Simons and Delegate Edmunds. The Virginia Mercury article by Sarah Vogelsong here. 

January 2022: Updated map, Gold-pyrite belt and the Virginia House of Delegates. Thanks to our partners, the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC).

December 2021:  Check out the new website  for Press Pause Coalition, the statewide coalition of partners which officially formed in 2021 and seeks to implement a pause on permitting new metals mining in Virginia. Join us!

October, 2021: FoB is partnering with the Virginia Community Rights Network (VACRN) to gather support for a proposed commonsense local ordinance to protect Buckingham County from the harm we know that would come from metallic mining. See petition (above) and Communities page.

September 21, 2021: Aston Bay is expanding their exploration in Buckingham to 3 target sites and also in South Central Virginia (Pittsylvania, Campbell Counties). Watch the YouTube video (3:00 minutes)

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).
  • 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

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

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