- 125,000 metric tons — estimated amount of gold mined worldwide since historical times
- 2,500 metric tons — amount of gold mined worldwide in 1998
- 360 cubic feet — amount of waste rock removed in order to produce enough gold to make an average pair of gold wedding bands
- 31 — number of fatalities in gold mines in the U.S. from 1994 to 1998, an average of 1 death per 54.2 metric tons of gold
- 1,634 — number of fatalities in gold mines in South Africa from 1994 to 1998, an average of 1 death per 1.6 metric tons of gold
- $430 million — 1999 profits of Anglogold Limited, the largest gold mining company in the world, which produces nearly half of South Africa’s gold
- $3.8 million — contributions by mining companies and political action committees to federal candidates and political parties in the U.S. during the 1997-1998 election cycle
- $0.8 million — contributions by all environmental advocacy organizations and political action committees to federal candidates and political parties in the U.S. during the 1997-1998 election cycle
- 105 A.D. — year when the Roman Empire annexed the “Golden Quadrilateral” region of Romania, securing a valuable gold supply
- 1998 A.D. — year when the post-Communist Romanian government passed legislation allowing foreign investment in its mining industries, attracting investments from Australian, Canadian, British, and U.S. firms
- 13 — the number of documented pollution spills from Romanian mines since 1998
1, 2 — U.S. Geological Survey, “Gold” in Minerals Yearbook 1998.
3 — Corporate Watch and Project Underground, Global Gold Fever, May 19, 1997. Based on U.S. mining figures.
4 — U.S. Department of Labor, Mine Safety and Health Administration, Metal and Nonmetal 1994-1998 Fatality Summary and Grist calculation, based on U.S. 1994-1998 gold mine production of 1,680 metric tons, as reported in U.S. Geological Survey, “Gold” in Mineral Commodity Summaries 1999.
5 — United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, “South Africa: Focus on Mine Deaths” in Integrated Regional Information Network, January 21, 2000, and Grist calculation, based on South Africa 1994-1998 gold mine production of 2,558 metric tons, as reported in Chamber of Mines of South Africa, SA Mining Industry Statistical Tables 1998/99.
6 — Grist calculation based on 1999 profit of RAN2.65 billion, as listed in Yahoo!, Market Guide — Anglogold Limited, and exchange rate of 6.152 rand / U.S. dollar on 12.31.99, as listed in Xenon Laboratories, Interactive Currency Table.
7, 8 — The Center for Responsive Politics, The Big Picture: The Money Behind the 1998 Elections.
9, 10 — Mining Magazine, Rosia Montana — Romania’s super pit?, November 1999.
11 — Greenpeace International, The Real Face of the Kangaroo, March 2000 and additional news reports.