Apple & Tiffany partnering with Alaskan gold environmental stewards

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 13
Apple is partnering with environmental group RESOLVE to find new ways to responsibly source gold in Alaska for electronics manufacture.

Alaskan gold re-mined from tailing pile, and stewarded by RESOLVE
Alaskan gold re-mined from tailing pile, and stewarded by RESOLVE


"Placer mining" sites are designed and located to find nuggets left over from the Klondike gold rush dot Alaskan rivers. These sites often sit adjacent to the 12 Pacific salmon runs that are specifically named under the Endangered Species Act, and the runoff from rains can impact the health of the water, and damage the salmon spawning runs.

RESOLVE is an organization that wants to combine the re-mining efforts with restoration to improve the streams that may be impacted by the placer mining, urbanization, and wildfires. The effort is called Salmon Gold, and Apple has partnered with the group.

"There's a lot of tension between mining and salmon," says Stephen D'Esposito, CEO of RESOLVE. "Salmon Gold is like a peace treaty between mining and salmon habitat. It's a place where the three sectors can work together: the restoration community, First Nations and the mining industry."

Apple and luxury jeweler Tiffany & Co. will source gold from these miners who have committed to restore and improve the land they're operating on when they're done.

"As we continue to increase our use of recycled materials, we're seeking out innovative ways to source gold responsibly," says Paula Pyers, Apple's head of Supplier Responsibility. "Partnering with Tiffany, a pioneer in sustainable sourcing, as well as RESOLVE ensures Salmon Gold can be an example of how the industry can evolve."

RESOLVE has secured restoration plans with three miners in Alaska and the Yukon already, with plans for more. It is predicted that over 1,000 ounces of the partnership's trademarked Salmon Gold will be discovered at the end of the season, increased from 25 ounces in the summer of 2018.

Example of tailing pile, left over by mining efforts
Example of tailing pile, left over by mining efforts, photo CBC


Part of the placer mining process involves tailing piles. These piles are large deposits of topsoil and other material churned up from old mining sites and other processing centers to find left-behind chunks of gold that were missed in the original screening process.

"All of Jack Wade is full of tailing piles, and Mother Earth will someday eventually recover that, but it's going to take a couple hundred years," local miner Dean Race told Apple. "All we're doing is speeding up the process when I'm done with it, it's going to look like a park."

Chris Race, Dean Race's son, working a tailing pile looking for gold
Chris Race, Dean Race's son, working a tailing pile looking for gold


Starting in the fall, all Salmon Gold entering Apple's supply chain and used for production will be tracked from the mine to the refiner using blockchain technology. After the pilot phase, RESOLVE will work with partners to expand Salmon Gold's impact and turn it into what the group calls a "self-sustaining social enterprise that achieves restoration and revitalization of fish habitat at scale."

Apple has recently published its annual environmental responsibility report. In it, the company touted an increased focus on not just recycling, but material recovery as well.

The company also promotes assorted programs to help it reclaim gold from its own products that consumers are recycling. Two of these include turn-in programs, as well as robots designed to efficiently strip down iPhones into component parts for easier recycling and reclaim of the gold and other precious materials in the devices.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    One of the reasons I continue to buy Apple products. I hope they expand the program to other materials.
    racerhomie3leftoverbaconminicoffee
  • Reply 2 of 8
    All I’m reading is Apple is going to source (buy) gold from RESOLVE to be used in their products.  What I’m not reading is Apple putting money into the project.  This tells me Apple is expecting the gold from this project to be priced competitively, and they’re just allowing RESOLVE to use Apple’s name to raise funds elsewhere for startup costs.

    It’s great that they want metals that have been mined responsibly, but is this really better than working with recyclers? 

    All RESOLVE is doing is pledging not to do additional environmental damage that inevitably comes with starting a new mine.  They’re basically going through other mines trash, with the expectation of finding gold the previous miner missed.  For that privilege (access) they’re going to fill in some holes (etc) which they acknowledged would take care of themselves eventually...basically they’re removing an eye sore.

    All this is fine...even good, but the announcement is 99% PR.  Using 1% less plastic in Apple’s products and/or packaging would have a greater impact on the environment.

    Good PR by Apple.  Got to give them credit for knowing their customers...

  • Reply 3 of 8
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 1,151member
    This is actual innovation. Thank you for doing this Apple.
    leftoverbacon
  • Reply 4 of 8
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 512member
    Industry and conservation groups working hand in hand instead of vilifying each other.  Now there’s a concept.
    minicoffee
  • Reply 5 of 8
    All I’m reading is Apple is going to source (buy) gold from RESOLVE to be used in their products.  What I’m not reading is Apple putting money into the project.  This tells me Apple is expecting the gold from this project to be priced competitively, and they’re just allowing RESOLVE to use Apple’s name to raise funds elsewhere for startup costs.

    It’s great that they want metals that have been mined responsibly, but is this really better than working with recyclers? 

    All RESOLVE is doing is pledging not to do additional environmental damage that inevitably comes with starting a new mine.  They’re basically going through other mines trash, with the expectation of finding gold the previous miner missed.  For that privilege (access) they’re going to fill in some holes (etc) which they acknowledged would take care of themselves eventually...basically they’re removing an eye sore.

    All this is fine...even good, but the announcement is 99% PR.  Using 1% less plastic in Apple’s products and/or packaging would have a greater impact on the environment.

    Good PR by Apple.  Got to give them credit for knowing their customers...

    Did you miss the part about habitat restoration? It's not just "filling holes". SMH.
    AppleExposed
  • Reply 6 of 8
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,398unconfirmed, member
    Sad that this news will never trend.

    Yet #BeautyGate a "problem" that makes you prettier was front page news and Apple was "doomed".
  • Reply 7 of 8
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,925member
    https://www.resolve.ngo/ppa.htm
    All I’m reading is Apple is going to source (buy) gold from RESOLVE to be used in their products.  What I’m not reading is Apple putting money into the project.  This tells me Apple is expecting the gold from this project to be priced competitively, and they’re just allowing RESOLVE to use Apple’s name to raise funds elsewhere for startup costs.

    It’s great that they want metals that have been mined responsibly, but is this really better than working with recyclers? 

    All RESOLVE is doing is pledging not to do additional environmental damage that inevitably comes with starting a new mine.  They’re basically going through other mines trash, with the expectation of finding gold the previous miner missed.  For that privilege (access) they’re going to fill in some holes (etc) which they acknowledged would take care of themselves eventually...basically they’re removing an eye sore.

    All this is fine...even good, but the announcement is 99% PR.  Using 1% less plastic in Apple’s products and/or packaging would have a greater impact on the environment.

    Good PR by Apple.  Got to give them credit for knowing their customers...

    Apple's involvement isn't actually detailed beyond "partner" but I would have to assume it goes beyond simply buying gold thru them. The one company who is premiered is Intel who does have some skin in the game, with a hat tip to the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and National Geographic Society. 
    https://www.resolve.ngo/partners.htm

    RESOLVE's Alaska project is but a small part of their much larger worldwide effort,  Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade (PPA) who counts Apple, Intel, and Google among it's major sponsors. As with the Alaska one the actual involvement of Apple and Google is not detailed, with only the work of Intel described. 
    https://www.resolve.ngo/ppa.htm

    edited August 13
  • Reply 8 of 8
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 960member
    Sad that this news will never trend.

    Yet #BeautyGate a "problem" that makes you prettier was front page news and Apple was "doomed".
    LOL, forgot all about that one. But you have a good point...
Sign In or Register to comment.