Published 4 years ago.
About a 3 minute read.
Image: Jack Wade/RESOLVE
An innovative approach to sourcing gold responsibly and restoring fish habitats in Alaska and Canada, Salmon Gold meets the needs of manufacturing and retail companies that responsibly source minerals for their products.
Washington, DC-based NGO RESOLVE has announced the
launch of Salmon Gold™ — an innovative
approach to sourcing gold responsibly and restoring fish habitats in Alaska,
the Yukon Territory, and British Columbia — with its partners, Tiffany
& Co. and Apple.
The Salmon Gold project targets streams and habitat impacted by historical
tailings, the residue left over from old placer gold mining sites that can
prevent fish such as salmon and grayling from migrating and spawning. Now, 120
years after the first miners began panning for gold in the Yukon River, gold
from the project is now in the supply chains of Tiffany & Co. and Apple — both
giants when it comes to metals sourcing.
“As we work to increase our use of recycled
we’re looking for innovative approaches to source gold responsibly,” said
Paula Pyers, head of Apple’s supplier responsibility program. “Our
collaboration on Salmon Gold proves it is possible to protect our planet,
restore ecosystems and fish habitats, and mine gold responsibly. The blockchain
we are using with the project allows us to know exactly where the gold
originated from as it works its way through our supply chain.”
The initial phase of Salmon Gold focused on re-mining and restoring part of
Jack Wade Creek, a tributary of the Fortymile River in Alaska. RESOLVE
worked with a Dean Race and his two sons, Chris and Dakota — placer
miners and restoration entrepreneurs — and government agencies to test
restoration methods, process recovered gold, and establish a chain-of-custody
for the first batch of Salmon Gold from the mine to manufacturers.
“This part of Alaska is pretty special,” Dean Race said. "We believe that if you
disturb the land, you should put it back the way it was or better. We are part
of Salmon Gold because we want our gold and our restoration to make a
difference, and we want to fish for grayling in these streams.”
Gold Creek, north of Talkeetna, Alaska — a new site for the Salmon Gold project | Image credit: Dave Baker/RESOLVE
By producing gold that supports restoration, Salmon Gold meets the needs of
manufacturing and retail companies that responsibly source minerals for their
products. After the pilot phase, RESOLVE will work with partners to expand
Salmon Gold’s impact and turn it into a self-sustaining social enterprise that
achieves restoration and revitalization of fish habitat at scale.
“Salmon Gold is a restoration startup,” said Stephen D'Esposito, President
of RESOLVE. “The idea of local placer miners working with restoration experts to
provide gold to jewelry and technology companies while also restoring habitats
for salmon and grayling is unique — each of our partners brings a piece of the
solution to Salmon Gold.”
“At Tiffany & Co., we are committed to safeguarding critical ecosystems —
including in majestic Alaska and its precious salmon habitats, a place that we
have long advocated for,” said Anisa Kamadoli Costa, Chief Sustainability
Officer at Tiffany & Co. “Salmon Gold proves that responsible mining
and restoration of important ecosystems in Alaska, the Yukon and British
Columbia can go hand in hand. We are proud to collaborate with a diverse group
of stakeholders to demonstrate the viability of this unique approach and hope to
learn from its successes.”
With the success of the initial phase of Salmon Gold, the project has expanded
beyond the Fortymile River with new sites now at Sulphur Creek, in the Yukon
Territory of Canada; and Gold Creek, north of Talkeetna, Alaska. Additional
sites throughout Alaska, the Yukon and British Columbia are now under
consideration. Salmon Gold will continue to support stream restoration pilots
over the next few years and then scale-up to target restoration at a watershed
“We want to show that responsible placer gold mining and good habitat
restoration can be aligned in the Yukon. Our Sulphur Creek project is the first
Canadian pilot,” said Peter Wright, placer miner and Salmon Gold partner.
Published Aug 15, 2019 2pm EDT / 11am PDT / 7pm BST / 8pm CEST