At a virtual press conference on Dec. 13, the launch of the “Press Pause Coalition” was announced. The statewide coalition wants a pause on state agencies permitting gold, copper, zinc and lead mining.
Formation of the coalition was prompted by exploratory work by a Canadian mining company in Buckingham, Campbell and Pittsylvania counties. The coalition includes Appalachian Voices, Friends of Buckingham, Piedmont Environmental Council, Virginia Community Rights Network, Virginia Conservation Network, Southern Environmental Law Center, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Climate Action Virginia and Buckingham Neighbors Coalition.
Add your name to a petition supporting the pause in permitting here.
The coalition is concerned about the likely impacts to drinking water, acid mine drainage and other harms associated with metals mining. Del. Shelly Simonds announced she would carry legislation in the General Assembly to analyze current regulations of copper, zinc and lead mining and pause permitting on those metals, in addition to gold, until that analysis is complete.
A June 2021 article in The Appalachian Voice explored the threats to the environment and local communities from open pit gold mining.
The press conference was recorded and can be viewed below.