Welcome

Gold is a treasured mineral that has fascinated societies throughout human history. However, while gold mining may result in socio-economic benefits, it may also have negative impacts on the environment and human health. Furthermore, gold is a non-renewable natural resource, so careful planning is required to address the various ecological, social, and economic consequences that remain after a mine has been closed. Please explore our site to learn more about the complex issues that confront mining communities and companies, through the story of one of the longest-running gold mines in the Asia-Pacific, the Vatukoula gold mine in Fiji.

About Tropical Gold

Tropical Gold is an educational research and public information project led by Saleem H. Ali, Ph.D. and Mary A. Ackley, with generous support from the Tiffany & Co. Foundation and several research collaborators. It is our hope that this website will serve as an educational resource for people who are interested or involved in utilizing mineral wealth, while striving towards sustainable development and improved environmental, social, and economic outcomes.

Featured Film:
Tropical Gold: Reversal of Fortune in Fiji

Film Synopsis
Development strategies that exploit non-renewable natural resources have been widely criticized in recent years for their environmental, economic, and social consequences, particularly in island economies. After seventy-three years of operation, the Australian company Emperor Mines Ltd. announced the sudden closure of the Vatukoula gold mine in Fiji. That day, 1,760 mine employees, their families, local businesses, and government officials were shocked to learn that their source of livelihoods had abruptly disappeared. This film offers constructive lessons for communities struggling to harness wealth from their natural resources while striving towards sustainable development.

Download the Full Research Report

Evaluating Environmental Risks in Mining: A Perceptual Study at the Vatukoula Gold Mine in Fiji

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University of Vermont • Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources • 151 S. Prospect Sreet. • Burlington,Vermont 05401 • USA
Phone: 802-656-0173 • Fax: 802-656-8015