A single new 1/3-oz, 18-karat gold ring creates about 20 tons of mine waste.
I read this in an article suggesting we recycle jewelry rather than buying new. The statistic seems unfathomable, but even if it were one ton of mine waste, it would be a tremendous amount. 2000 pounds - 40000 pounds - and there is a human cost. Amazing.
Now I know I need to see the movie Blood Diamond.