|Barrick Gold contaminated 5 rivers in Argentina|
The Dawn News
February 26th, 2016
An investigation by the Environmental Crimes Department of the Argentine Federal Police, carried out in the province of San Juan, revealed that the cyanide spill of the Veladero mine, property of Barrick Gold, is responsible for the pollution of five rivers.
“We are facing a clear infraction of law No. 24.051 (dangerous waste), because we confirmed the pollution of rivers Potrerillos, Jachal, Blanco, Palca and Las Taguas, by virtue of having detected toxic substances that are not regulated”, reads the report.
The document explains that “all analyzed samples, both in liquid and solid state, evidenced the presence of total cyanide”, and in some of the samples, the values of this poison were above those permitted by law, plus other heavy metals were found.
The investigation found an “excessive concentration” of salts and cobalt in the drinking water supply.
The prosecutor asked the Faculty of Medicine (University of Buenos Aires) to analyze the samples of tap water to determine if it could be damaging to human health.
The report also states that the levels of contaminants constitute a serious threat to biological diversity. It adds that “dropping effluents outside the range established by the law is considered a contaminant evacuation, for that reason, the discovery of dangerous components outside the limits established for the preservation of aquatic life is a clear infraction of law no. 24.051, in this case”.
Last February 13, Mauricio Macri benefitted mining companies by exempting them from paying taxes to the export of minerals. This left Argentine state without an income of 300 million pesos (223 million dollars) a year, in a context of economic crisis and where Argentina is analyzing going into debt.