Sunday, 17 November 2013

The Madre de Dios region of the Peruvian Amazon


A combination of field surveys, airborne mapping, and high-resolution satellite imaging have determined that small clandestine operations now make up more than half of all gold mining activities in the Western Amazonian forests of Peru.
The Carnegie Institution for Science and Peru’s Ministerio del Ambiente in Lima assessed road- and river-based gold mining in the Madre de Dios region of the Peruvian Amazon from 1999 to 2012. During this period, the geographic extent of gold mining increased 400%. In the year 2008, the average annual rate of forest loss as a result of gold mining tripled.

Madre de Dios now supplies more than 70% of Peru’s gold production; however, mining activities remain mostly unpermitted by the government.

The authors discovered hundreds of new small mines in the foothills in the headwater region of the Colorado, Inambari, and Malinowski Rivers.
Their discovery was confirmed by air in July 2011 and again in September 2013.

“Critically, as of 2012, small mining operations constituted 51% of the total mining activity throughout the region,” the authors observed. “Our results reveal far more forest damage than has been reported in the past, both in terms of the current area affected and the rate of clearing over time,”
While the total land loss in Madre de Dios appears small compared to other tropical regions undergoing deforestation, the study emphasized that “Madre de Dios is world-renowned for its unusually high biological diversity."


http://www.mineweb.com/mineweb/content/en//mineweb-sustainable-mining?oid=210498&sn=Detail

Friday, 15 November 2013

The Marange diamond fields, Zimbabwe

The "Marange" is the name of a vast diamond field in eastern Zimbabwe. It is about the size of the German capital Berlin and in its depths huge deposits of diamonds lie waiting to be discovered. Many experts believe it to be the largest diamond field in the world. This year alone, the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) expects to extract diamonds weighing some 17 million carats.

In terms of carats produced, the Marange field is the largest diamond producing project in the world.
Now Zimbabwe can again sell its precious stones to buyers in Europe. In September the European Union (EU) lifted sanctions imposed on the ZMDC for its alleged involvement in acts contrary to to democracy in the southern African nation.

The embargo on Zimbabwe's national mining corporation was imposed by the EU in the wake of brutal attacks by security forces against members of the opposition after the 2008 presidential election.
Five years later, the EU's foreign ministers have now said the embargo can be lifted – even though election observers from the African Union (AU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) expressed severe doubts about the credibility of parliamentary elections held in Zimbabwe in July this year.
The EU has also spoken of democratic deficits in Zimbabwe but the bloc's foreign policy spokesman Michael Mann says there have also been some small improvements.

The EU wants to encourage Zimbabwe to undertake economic reforms so that the population as a whole also benefits from the trade in diamonds. So far, ordinary Zimbabweans have seen little of the revenue. The country's economy is in a poor state and many people do not have enough to eat. The UN World Food Program estimates that 2.2 million Zimbabweans will rely on international food aid in the coming months.


http://www.dw.de/zimbabwean-diamonds-set-to-return-to-the-european-market/a-17198729
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Sunday, 10 November 2013

Gemstones of Pagan Wiccan Witchcraft II

Chalcopyrite (Peacock Ore) - Enhances perception; strengthens contact with ancient cultures of the universe by acting as a connective agent. Considered a "stone of the mystic" ... bringing information relevant to the etheric energies; opens and activates the crown chakra. Excellent for use in "no-mind meditations"
Aragonite Cluster - promote a sense of balance while cleansing the surrounding energy. Said to fortify strength and confidence and to open new visions.
Rainbow Andalusite - Faery Cross Stone Andalusite tumbled and polished crystal, also known as The Faery Cross Stone. It is stunning in its fire (opalescence). In the center is a cross... a natural part of its crystalline structure and a symbol of protection and balance. Absolutely unique from any other gemstone in the crystal world. Used as a powerful protection stone, it also stimulates self enhancement, self realization and memory.

When used in channeling work, it magnifies past lives.
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Amber Copal - A fossilized tree resin - allows the body to heal itself by absorbing and transmuting negative energy into positive energy. It stimulates the intellect and opens the crown chakra. It also transmutes the energy of physical vitality toward the activation of unconditional love. It aligns the ethereal energies to the physical, mental, and emotional bodies, providing for an even flow of perfect order to the requirements of the Earth plane while balancing the electro-magnetics of the physical body.
Crocodile Jasper - said to sustain and support through times of stress, and bring tranquility and wholeness. Jasper provides protection and absorbs negative energy. It balances yin and yang. Jasper clears electromagnetic and environmental pollution. It supports during prolonged illness and re-energises the body.
Spirit Quartz is a crystal of harmony and alignment. It takes all the crystal energies of the main stone and amplifies them over and over again in all the tiny points, each reflecting light back and forth to one another so all can bathe in the combined radiance of the whole.

In the Book of Stones, Naisha Ahsian describes this crystal as "a hundred-voice choir singing in harmony." Its resonance is spiritually uplifting, radiating high-vibrational energy in all directions, and is a perfect ally in aligning the aura, chakras, meridians and the physical body, as well as carrying the gifts of Spirit out into the world.


Saturday, 9 November 2013

Venezuelan Diamonds

PARKUPIK, Venezuela (Reuters) - Veteran gold and diamond buyers sit on a small metal boat gliding down a river in southern Venezuela that brushes the borders of Brazil and Guyana. Armed with weighing scales, magnifying glasses and rucksacks stuffed with cash, the Venezuelan traders stop at many of the myriad illegal mines that line the water and scar the jungle.

"I have diamonds in my blood!" mused one buyer while macaws patrolled the jungle canopy near the village of Parkupik.
The diamonds he and others purchase will likely end up in trading centers like Tel Aviv, Antwerp, London and New York after being smuggled into neighboring Guyana to obtain falsified papers. Numerous traders across Venezuela and Guyana confirmed the illegal business to Reuters, all asking not to be identified for fear of attracting authorities' attention.