|A combination of field surveys, airborne mapping, and high-resolution satellite imaging have determined that clandestine operations now make up more than half of all gold mining activities in the Western Amazonian forests of Peru.|
Researchers assessed road- and river-based gold mining in the Madre de Dios region of the Peruvian Amazon from 1999 to 2012. During this period, gold mining increased 400%. In 2008 alone, the average rate of forest loss as a result of gold mining tripled.
Madre de Dios now supplies more than 70% of Peru’s gold production; however, mining activities remain mostly unpermitted by the government.
The authors discovered hundreds of new small mines in the foothills in the headwater region of the Colorado, Inambari, and Malinowski Rivers.