A recent report from Bloomberg shows that the mining of gold in Colombia often fuels human rights violations in local communities. An estimated 87 percent of Colombia’s gold is produced in informal or illegal mines.
Once the Colombian gold has reached international refining companies, who sell it to companies like Apple, GM and General Electric, it is impossible to find out whether the mine that it originated from was legitimate. Apple says that, for this reason, it has had investigators on the ground in Colombia for the last few months.
Miners in Mondomo are poisoning the town’s water according to the local mayor of Santander de Quilichao.It is estimated that a smartphone contains about a dollar’s worth of gold in its circuitry. While that may not seem like a lot, the electronics sector as a whole makes up for about six percent of the world demand for gold, or 9,7 billion dollars.
Read more about the situation in Colombia’s gold mining sector here.