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Articles on Gold

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Mansa Musa, the king of Mali, approached by a Berber on camelback, from The Catalan Atlas, 1375. Attributed to Abraham Cresques/Bibliothèque Nationale de France/Wikimedia Commons

Book review: how Africa was central to the making of the modern world

Born in Blackness by Howard W. French is a towering work. It argues that, because of gold and slavery, Africa is central to creating the modern world.
An astronaut aboard the International Space Station (ISS) took this photograph of numerous gold prospecting pits in eastern Peru. (NASA/SS Crew Earth Observations Facility and the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, Johnson Space Center)

Pictures from outer space reveal the extent of illegal gold mining in Peru

NASA satellite images reveal the extent of gold-mining in Peru. This information can be used to shut down illegal mining and prevent environmental destruction and contamination.
While people may be familiar with precious metals, which are often at the heart of conflicts, there are also metals that are essential to good health. (Shutterstock)

Rare metals play a strategic and essential role in health

Iron fights anemia. Bismuth relieves gastric problems. Lithium acts against depression and gold can treat rheumatoid arthritis. Metals are precious tools for good health.
Most of the world’s electronics are not recycled, posing health and environmental risks. catscandotcom/Getty Images

Consumer electronics have changed a lot in 20 years – systems for managing e-waste aren’t keeping up

Technical advances are reducing the volume of e-waste generated in the US as lighter, more compact products enter the market. But those goods can be harder to reuse and recycle.
Artisanal small-scale gold mining polluted this stream and deforested sections of the Madre de Dios area of Peru. Mario Tama/Getty Images

Gold rush, mercury legacy: Small-scale mining for gold has produced long-lasting toxic pollution, from 1860s California to modern Peru

Small-scale gold mining operations in developing countries are major sources of toxic mercury pollution, using techniques that haven’t changed much since the California Gold Rush 150 years ago.

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