Gold, Cyanide, and the Idea of Risk Amplification: Coming to Terms with the Environmental Realities of Cyanide Use in Mining Operations

Stemming from the Seven Up Pete Mine litigation (see Seven Up Pete Venture v. Schweitzer, 523 F.3d 948 (9th Cir. 2008)) and concern for environmental degradation of Montana’s Blackfoot River, Prof. Jan Laitos of University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law analyzes the true environmental costs of cyanide use in mining operations and the danger of “risk amplification” in Cyanide, Mining, and the Environment (PELR Summer 2013, Vol. 30, Issue 3). Prof. Laitos discusses the idea of risk amplification, the odd chasm that often appears between people’s perception about a notorious substance and the reality of the true threat posed substance, and weighs its impact on cyanide use and mining. The much anticipated article balances the debate over mining regulation and gives a qualitative risk assessment to environmental degradation.

The article was recently published online and can be downloaded via the PELR Digital Commons Website:

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