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Making Gold The Greener Way

New “eco-gold” coin offered

Yukon Gold CoinMammoth Tusk Gold Inc. may be trying to tap into a new market by using socially and environmentally sound gold-mining procedures to produce what is known as “eco-gold”. According to the companies website, “Chemicals are not used while mining, and there are no toxic by-products from the extraction process. Water, motion, and gravity are used to extract the gold and very careful attention is given to ensuring the protection of waterways”.

Mammoth Gold officially unveiled its first eco-gold product this week, The Mammoth Gold Coin.

The initial product offering is 250 one ounce gold coins.

The coins are minted from Klondike gold which has been batch refined to .9999% purity. Each coin includes a chain of custody document that tracks the gold content from mining to manufacture. Also included is a certification of validity from the Yukon Territorial Government, a certification of minting from the Lasqueti Mint, and all coins are presented in a hand-made wooden box inlaid with Mammoth Tusk ivory.

Company literature says Mammoth Gold comes from a placer mine. Miners extract ore from creeks and rivers, which contain gold nuggets, flakes and dust. The ore is then sluiced, a process by which water, gravity and motion separate the heavier gold particles from the lighter gravels.

This chemical-free process is in sharp contrast to the typical practices employed to separate gold where Chemicals such as cyanide are used to separate gold from ore, with arsenic and lead being used as well. Whether or not the “eco-gold” coins will become popular remains to be seen, but some environmental advocacy groups such as the No Dirty Gold campaign, hope that this is a step in the right direction for cleaning up the practices in most of the world’s gold mining operations.

As a result of strict regulations in Yukon, almost all of the 60,000 to 70,000 ounces of gold mined annually come from the ecologically sound procedure of placer mining. However to be “classified” as eco-gold , the Klondike placer-mined gold can not be combined with gold from unknown sources in the refining process.

So Mammoth Gold has struck a deal with Argen, a California refinery that has agreed to make a single batch using only Klondike gold. That’s why Mammoth can claim its finished product, the gold coin, is 0.999 pure Klondike gold, or eco-gold.

Each coin costs $1,650, but the company is banking on creating consumer and investor demand based on the eco-gold label and the limited mintage of just 250 pieces.

This is a unique product and the first Eco-Gold coin that we are aware of.

It is too early to tell if the idea is ahead of its time, and if environmentally conscious investors will justify the extra cost compared to other bullion coin products, or if this is no more than an innovative marketing plan aimed at a niche group of potential customers.

Either way you look at it, it would appear that we have the first Eco-Gold now available.

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