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Drilling & Mining

Stopping destructive extraction

Precious metals and fossil fuels power our society, but at a high price.

Extractive industries destabilize local communities, endanger human health, and irreversibly scar natural landscapes. From rare metals to oil to natural gas, the backstory behind these resources is significantly more complicated and destructive than the consumer price tag.

We have to take it seriously, because one spill, one mistake, and that’s it.

United States, 2012
Caroline Cannon

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Goldman Prize Winners awarded for Drilling & Mining

Alex Lucitante and Alexandra Narvaez

Alexandra Narvaez & Alex Lucitante

2022 Goldman Prize Winner
Drilling & Mining
South & Central America
Ecuador

Alex Lucitante and Alexandra Narvaez spearheaded an Indigenous movement to protect their people’s ancestral territory from gold mining. Their leadership resulted in a historic legal victory in October 2018, when Ecuador’s courts canceled 52 illegal gold mining concessions, which were illegally granted without the consent of their Cofán community. The community’s legal success protects 79,000 acres of pristine, biodiverse rainforest in the headwaters of Ecuador’s Aguarico River, which is sacred to the Cofán.


Francia Márquez

2018 Goldman Prize Winner
Drilling & Mining
South & Central America
Colombia

A formidable leader of the Afro-Colombian community, Francia Márquez organized the women of La Toma and stopped illegal gold mining on their ancestral land. She exerted steady pressure on the Colombian government and spearheaded a 10-day, 350-mile march of 80 women to the nation’s capital, resulting in the removal of all illegal miners and equipment from her community.


Wendy Bowman

Wendy Bowman

2017 Goldman Prize Winner
Drilling & Mining
Islands & Island Nations
Australia

In the midst of an onslaught of coal development in Australia, octogenarian Wendy Bowman stopped a powerful multinational mining company from taking her family farm and protected her community in Hunter Valley from further pollution and environmental destruction.


Prafulla Samantara

Prafulla Samantara

2017 Goldman Prize Winner
Drilling & Mining
Asia
India

An iconic leader of social justice movements in India, Prafulla Samantara led a historic 12-year legal battle that affirmed the indigenous Dongria Kondh’s land rights and protected the Niyamgiri Hills from a massive, open-pit aluminum ore mine.


Rodrigo Tot

Rodrigo Tot

2017 Goldman Prize Winner
Drilling & Mining
South & Central America
Guatemala

An indigenous leader in Guatemala’s Agua Caliente, Rodrigo Tot led his community to a landmark court decision that ordered the government to issue land titles to the Q’eqchi people and kept environmentally destructive nickel mining from expanding into his community.


Máxima Acuña

2016 Goldman Prize Winner
Drilling & Mining
South & Central America
Peru

A subsistence farmer in Peru’s northern highlands, Máxima Acuña stood up for her right to peacefully live off her own property, a plot of land sought by Newmont and Buenaventura Mining to develop the Conga gold and copper mine.


Partners in Drilling & Mining

The Goldman Prize is honored to partner with a variety of environmental organizations around the world, each of them united in the goal of protecting our planet. From our nominating partners to global organizations to grassroots NGOs led by Prize winners, they are all essential parts of the environmental community.

  • Earthworks logo
  • Lock the Gate logo
  • Mining Watch logo
  • Earth Justice logo
  • Gwichin Steering Committee logo
  • Ohio Valley Environmental Commission logo