Apple and Tiffany & Co. will source gold from miners who have committed to restore streams for fish

This fall, Salmon Gold will enter Apple’s supply chain and be traceable from mine to refiner using blockchain technology.
This fall, Salmon Gold will enter Apple’s supply chain and be traceable from mine to refiner using blockchain technology.

There are hundreds of small and large placer mining operations in Alaska actively producing gold in the US. Placer mining sites sit along creeks and streams, giving miners the chance to re-mine for any nuggets or fine gold left over from the Yukon’s Klondike Gold Rush in the late 1890s.

Meanwhile, since 1991, 12 Pacific salmon runs have been listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). These routes that salmon use to make their run to their spawning beds each year are often adjacent to placer mining sites.

The causes for the ESA classification are not limited to mining. Add logging, urbanization, record wildfires and landslides in the region, and salmon runs don’t stand a chance. But RESOLVE, a nonprofit organization tackling some of the planet’s most critical challenges through innovative, unexpected partnerships, wants to fix that.

Their proposal: Combine re-mining with restoration to improve the streams and open them back up for salmon, grayling and other fish species to return.

Since RESOLVE first introduced the Salmon Gold partnership in 2017, the organization is connecting local placer miners, environmentalists and government agencies in order to course correct the damage done from historic mining in the region. Apple — who uses small amounts of gold in electronic components throughout its products — and global luxury jeweler Tiffany & Co. will source gold from these miners who have committed to restore and improve the land they’re operating on when they’re done.

“As we continue to increase our use of recycled materials, we’re seeking out innovative ways to source gold responsibly,” says Paula Pyers, Apple’s head of Supplier Responsibility, in a statement. “Partnering with Tiffany, a pioneer in sustainable sourcing, as well as RESOLVE ensures Salmon Gold can be an example of how the industry can evolve.”

On Sulphur Creek, placer miner Peter Wright has designed a pond where wildlife is starting to return. “Everything that we do with our reclamation is to help the earth recover,” he says. “Not only from our mining activities, but from a hundred years before.”
On Sulphur Creek, placer miner Peter Wright has designed a pond where wildlife is starting to return. “Everything that we do with our reclamation is to help the earth recover,” he says. “Not only from our mining activities, but from a hundred years before.”

Source: Apple Inc.

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6 Comments

  1. Do big investors even care about saving the ecology? I’d hardly think so. Apple is not going to be praised for responsible gold sourcing, especially if such sourcing drives up the price of gold and the price of the iPhone with it. I’m for what Apple is doing, but Apple is always taking the most difficult path and the company is still constantly criticized for not doing enough. Humans have been tearing up the Earth for riches for hundreds of years and a couple of companies trying to correct things aren’t going to make much of a difference. I’m not saying they shouldn’t try, but I have a feeling there will be many more companies who will continue ruin the ecology in pursuit of easy profits.

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