Getting rid of toxic waste should always be a concern! And for the amount we find, is it worth the destruction?That's a very real concern. It seems like this case was only about whether the waste would be dumped in a lake or put on dry land. It also doesn't necessarily follow the the residue of this particular project is so dangerous as to cause serious problems.
50,000 is not a lot, in my view, especially when comparing to other mined metals.Why do you think it can't be? Read the stuff I cited above.
Even if we assume that 2/3 is in jewelery, 50,000 tons is still a lot of gold. Each electronic device using it probably only uses something on the order of .1 grams, which would allow for 500,000,000,000 uses.
Let's look at silver, as an example:
Average Cumulative World Gold Production = 4.25 billion ounces
Average Cumulative World Silver Production = 44.542 billion ounces