It should have been a time for the Buckingham County, Virginia, environmental community to celebrate and recuperate from a bruising but successful battle to stop the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and a compressor station planned for Union Hill.

“We were elated and exhausted with word of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline cancellation,” says Chad Oba, president of Friends of Buckingham, a group that spearheaded local opposition to the pipeline.

But any hopes that the group and others in the area could stand down after Duke Energy and Dominion Energy announced they were canceling the controversial project in July 2020 — largely because of increased costs from a series of lawsuits forcing the pipeline to adhere to environmental regulations — were dashed when disturbing news of a potential gold mine in the county came to light.

When he first heard there might be gold near his property from two Canadian geologists who showed up at his door asking if they could take samples from a creek on his property, Paul Barlow was actually a bit intrigued.

“At first, it was, ‘Like, wow, wouldn’t it be cool if we had a vein of gold under our property?’” says Barlow, a retired electronics technician who moved to Buckingham County in 2012.

But the more he thought about it — and the more he learned about the kind of open-pit mining that would be used to extract the gold — the more concerned he became.

Continue reading this article by Dan Radmacher at The Appalachian Voice
Appalachian Voices has been a steadfast partner to FoB and many other communities imperiled by environmental and social injustices.

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