LETTER – Gold mining should be banned

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, October 13, 2021

To the Editor:

After six years of the ACP challenge, here we go again!

The residents of Buckingham County, along with their air, water and soil, are being challenged again, this time by potential open-pit industrial gold mines.

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Aston Bay Holdings, Inc. has done exploratory drilling in an area off Warminster Road. In addition, they have recently reported to have identified two more sites in Buckingham (https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=1KSwad-ExMY). One is an old brownfield from previous gold exploration in the 1840s and one is new land that they are picking up (details not given).

One way industrial gold mining extracts the gold from tons of crushed earth is with the use of cyanide. The toxic mine waste is then stored in large containment areas. I have watched too many disaster videos of the extreme ecological repercussions to want this in Buckingham where we are on well water, and the nearby James River provides drinking water to millions of people downstream. A single failure of a cyanide waste “lagoon” would poison the entire river all the way to the Chesapeake Bay.

Exploratory drilling for gold has already been made legal in Buckingham County. I want our Board of Supervisors to act as if they want us to be around for generations to come and protect our rights to clean air, water and soil. Keep it in the ground and ban gold mining in Buckingham County.

Mindy Zlotnick