08 Jun 2022 · 3 min read

How to Alleviate the Environmental Impact Of Gold Mining

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Gold Mining is regarded as one of the most destructive activities for the environment. It affects natural ecosystems by removing soil and vegetation,  depletes biodiversity resources, and poses a persistent toxicological threat to surrounding ecosystems and human health.  The sheer scale of destruction that mining leads to is clear when taken into consideration the fact that mining just one ounce of gold generates approximately 800 KG of greenhouse gasses. 

Despite the environmental devastation, gold mining continues at a breathtaking pace, with much of the appetite for gold linked to its value as an investment.  In fact, almost 50% of gold mined annually ends up collecting dust in bank vaults, and the top ten G20 nations hold more than 25,000 metric tons of gold as reserves.   

Technologies Tackling the Mining Problem

It’s not all bad news, though. While gold mining continues on a massive scale, technological advancements are enabling more sustainable gold mining methods, with various tools and resources being deployed to provide safer and more efficient ways to mine resources. Technologies such as artificial intelligence and carbon capture, for example, are making the extraction of essential minerals and metals like gold more sustainable. 

The use of electric equipment instead of harsh chemicals or high-heat furnaces has also contributed to reduced mining pollution and recycling processes. Enhanced eco-friendly mining engines have lowered hazardous emissions by 90%. As a result, we have witnessed a drastic decrease in particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, and hydrocarbon emissions from mines. 

More recently, the advent of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies has paved the path for novel solutions to address environmental problems associated with gold mining. The democratization of finance is opening up new avenues for investment in sustainable development initiatives and Natural Capital. Tokenization of assets, in particular, has emerged as an effective means of preserving mineral assets such as gold.

Tokenizing Gold for an Eco-Friendly Future

While new technologies have emerged in the past decade, relatively few have directly addressed the environmental damage caused by gold mining. Artificial Intelligence, AR-VR, and other technologies have only helped to fix the external causes of problems rather than solving their root cause. Tokenization, on the other hand, is making it possible to minimize the environmental impact of gold mining, and the project that is making this a reality is Nature’s Vault.

Nature’s Vault is one of the first blockchain platforms to tackle the environmental impact of gold mining through tokenization. Through their own patent-pending  protocol the company is monetizing in-ground gold deposits by tokenizing them as Legacy Tokens and each Legacy Token is backed by a minimum of 1/100th of a gram of gold preserved in the ground. Legacy Token holders are able to reap the benefits of a gold-linked token, while avoiding the environmental damage of mining, by ensuring that gold remains in the ground.

The project uses a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism instead of a proof-of-work system to avoid the environmental impact caused by the latter. It also allows the community to be a part of its preserve-to-earn staking program where Legacy Token holders can stake to earn token yields. 

Saving the Planet with Blockchain Solutions

Blockchain technology has a variety of use cases that we can apply to take action against climate change and support the health of our planet. It enables more efficient governance systems and offers advanced utilities such as real-world asset tokenization, all of which can be utilized to protect our planet’s ecosystems. However, the tokenization of Natural Capital is new and companies like Nature’s Vault are still testing the waters.

Nature’s Vault is positioning itself at the forefront of ecologically friendly and sustainable projects that make a positive difference on the planet. Tokenization provides data integration, automation, and real-time functionality, as well as the potential benefits of fractionalization and disintermediation. And all this applied to gold allows for the monetization of the mineral, while still preserving the ecosystems and inhabitants that exist above it from long-lasting damage.