EARTH DAY | Georgian environment, heritage at risk as RMG Gold exploits Sakdrisi
April 21, 2015
Most people remember the story of Jason and the Argonauts and the Golden Fleece. What most people do not realize is that the setting of the myth is substantiated by the discovery of the Sakdrisi Gold Mine. The Bronze Age mine was acknowledged to be 5,000 years old in the early 2000s, the oldest known gold mine in the world. Sakdrisi was declared a cultural heritage site archaeological and scientific excavations began in 2006 by Georgian and German academics. This status was revoked in 2013 by the Georgian Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection in order to allow RMG Gold, a Russian-owned mining company, to exploit the site for the remaining gold. RMG contributes to approximately 10% of the Georgian economy.