Before attempting this essay it is recommended that the students be asked to do some research concerning the negative effects of gold mining operations. The said research could constitute an assignment or could be done under your watchful eye at a computer lab. This having been done, it is further recommended that you access the following on YouTube and watch it as a class: Poison in the Lifeline (27 min.), the 1995 Omai Gold Mine Disaster. Poison in the Lifeline lays bare the events and grave consequences of the Omai Mine disaster in Guyana in 1995 tracing the chain of events that led up to the disaster, the situation of extractive industries and the suffering of the 40.000 people who inhabit the area. Finally, ask the students to write a four paragraph essay on the effects of gold mining operations. Ask them to use the notes and the videos below
End this paragraph with the following thesis statement: Gold mining operations have serious environmental and social effects.
First developmental paragraph
Topic sentence: Gold mining operations do irreparable damage to the environment.
Highly consumptive, environmentally damaging, destroys natural environment, toxic waste, acid mine drainage (rock ground up and exposed to cyanide to extract gold; result: sulphuric acid), heavy metal poisoning (lead, cadmium, 96% of arsenic emissions), water depletion, uses vast amounts of energy
Second developmental paragraph
Gold mining operations have disastrous effects on local populations and the labor force employed on site.
Indigenous / community rights disregarded (mining on native land; natives, hunter-gatherers, subsistence farmers so way of life threatened; no power so rights ignored), laborers endangered (environmental violations put workers and locals at risk)