Chiswick Couple’s Quest for Ethical Wedding Rings

Campaign unearths the injustices of gold mining

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Betrothed Chiswick couple Zoe Gahan and Mat Laroche have recently returned from a trip to an Honduran gold mine to see for themselves where the gold in their wedding rings may come from.

The picture editor, and her documentary film maker fiancé who live in Woodstock Road, have been campaigning for 'ethical gold' with the aid agency CAFOD (Catholic Agency for Overseas Development) and wanted to take the next step and see for themselves the real story behind the making of their future wedding rings.

Zoe told the Catholic Independent Press "I wanted to look further into the issues of gold mining before Mat and I go off and buy our wedding rings. I only became aware recently of the problems with gold mining through CAFOD's Unearth Justice campaign. Now I've seen the devastating effects first hand that gold mining can have on the communities near a mine and the environment. It's really shaken me.

"After seeing the scar on the landscape that is the gold mine I'm very concerned to know where high street jewellery stores are sourcing their gold from. There are dangerous levels of cyanide in the water around the mine and I heard from local people that the mine causes them to fear for their health. I was shocked at the sheer size of the mine, it can use up to 220 gallons of water per minute when the people nearby struggle to find enough water for themselves and their cattle to drink."

Mat said "I was appalled to speak to the humble farmers who had originally lived on the site of the mine but had been forced to move. They lost their fruit orchards, a forest and some are very concerned about the validity of the title deeds to their new homes. The mine has left them poorer and extremely worried about their future. I'd urge everyone out there who buys gold jewellery to ask about where it comes from."

February 15, 2007