Shops Island Gold Rush
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|Shops Island Gold Rush|
Bro panning for gold on his claim. He is one of the few miners that didn't go broke during the Gold Rush.
|Participants||Shops Island Residents|
|Date||February - April 2012|
|Location||Numerous gold mines in the Mario Mountains|
The Shops Island Gold Rush was a short-lived mining boom which occurred in early 2012 in Shops Island. The event resulted in many gold mines and smaller claims popping up in the Mario Mountains, almost all of which would later close down. The Gold Rush was seen as a boon to Shops Island's at-the-time weak economy, which had been suffering from a long and painful economic downturn since July of 2011. The Gold Rush stimulated foreign investment in the young nation and is seen as an important moment in the Shopper resource sector. Along with the extraction of gold, small quantities of silver, platinum, and palladium have also been found, with many specialist facilities having been set up to extract these unique minerals.
The first signs of gold deposits existing on Shopper ground were uncovered in late 2011, when prospectors from the USA and the Culldrome Isles were exploring the Mario Mountains, hoping to find some rich and untapped resource deposits in the area. They did their prospecting without a government permit. After a few days of panning and excavating old river beds and glacial basins, the prospectors made it known that there was indeed gold, as well as small volumes of platinum and palladium in the area.
The Shopper government, while interested in new economic opportunities, also voiced their severe disapproval of foreign prospectors coming to Shops Island just to break environmental relations and to hunt for precious minerals without acquiring the proper permits. Then-president Ben 100022 wanted the prospectors to be charged and exiled from the country. It was only after popular backlash, led by mining nut Bro that their crimes were forgiven.
As more geological studies were conducted, it became clear to the government that the economic potential of a gold rush could not go untapped. They decided to allow mining in the Mario Mountains for the first time ever, and the government made lots of money on the purchases of permits. Every amateur and professional miner who wished to mine in Shops Island needed to purchase the appropriate permits to do so, and would have to pay tax on any discoveries they made.
Over the next few months, amateur miners wishing to strike it rich came from all across Antarctica to start their own mining claims. Most of these miners were woefully unprepared for the rugged terrain of the area and the often inclement weather conditions. Over 95% of miners who tried to start an operation in the Mario Mountains soon went bankrupt, and by April 2012 most had cut their losses and vacated the area. However, the Gold Rush also attracted some larger corporations, the largest of which being Penguin Miners Co., who set up multiple larger mines in the area and are still a key gold producer and a large employer to this day.
The Shops Island Gold Rush is seen by many economists and economic historians to be an pivotal moment in Shopper history. The gold rush attracted many new immigrants to Shops Island, and the stimulation that occurred was able to end the months-long economic downturn preceding the Gold Rush. To this day, the Mario Mountains still produce hundreds of thousands of ounces of gold per year, and the mining industry is key to the economy of Eastern Shops.
The Gold Rush has also brought great prosperity to the surrounding areas, including Penguin City and Bro Town; thousands of penguins have been employed by the gold mines in high-paying jobs as result of the Gold Rush. The Shopper government and the state of Eastern Shops also make plenty of money off of taxes collected from the mines.