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Placer gold mining monitoring launched in the Russian Far East

25 may 2020
The Center for Satellite Monitoring and Civil Control together with the international ecological coalition Rivers Without Borders with support of WWF-Russia have launched satellite monitoring of water bodies pollution downstream placer gold mining sites in the Far Eastern regions.

Satellite images help environmentalists to identify signs of river pollution with suspended substances as a result of mining works and promptly report to the state supervisory authorities about possible violations of environmental laws.

In 2020, space monitoring of placer gold mining is conducted in five provinces of the Amur basin: Zabaikalsky, Khabarovsky, Primorsky, Amurskaya and Evreiskaya provinces, as well as in Kamchatka.

Transformed waterflowes with destroyed vegetation after gold mining
ESRI, DigitalGlobe, GeoEye
According to Irina Lindberg, head of Green Economy department at WWF Russia Amur branch:
"WWF raises deep concern about those mining areas adjacent to protected areas or located upstream the PAs on the rivers. It should be highlighted that the economic feasibility of extracting placer gold and benefits for local communities and the socio-economic development of municipalities in the Far East is almost zero, but the environmental damage done for decades."
In 2019, the Center for Satellite Monitoring and Civil Control revealed 140 facts of pollution of water bodies downstream placer gold mining sites in the Russian Far East. The most of violations were registered in Amurskaya and Zabaikalskaya provinces. As a result of inspections and checks by Rosprirodnadzor, more than 10 gold mining companies were brought to administrative fines of several million rubles.
For additional information please contact
Head of Green Economy Department