Posts Tagged ‘contamination’

Power, and Barrick Gold, corrupt: they take the gold and leave the cyanide

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

gold_barrick[Translation of an article from El Clarín of Santiago, Chile, for August 25, 2014. See original here and go here for more information.]

By Alicia Gariazzo

Eighty percent of the gold produced in the world is for jewelry. Supplying the gold for a wedding ring takes 18 tons of earth and leaves 12 cubic meters of waste. The low-grade mineral that is dug up is sprayed with a solution of cyanide, which releases tiny particles of gold as it lixiviates, or filters through. The waste cyanide is carried away in water through pipes to the tailings dams. The dams are left uncovered so the cyanide can disintegrate and the water can evaporate. Close to 100 toxic chemicals and heavy metals are released as the cyanide breaks down.

They remain intact after the process and they cannot be removed from an area several kilometers in diameter. One teaspoon of a two-percent solution can kill an adult. The method of lixiviation, banned in Canada and throughout the industrialized world, requires 180 tons of cyanide a month, which, since it is imported, has to be transported over land from the ports of entry. Another method, used less often, is amalgamation based on mercury. Modern dentistry now prohibits the use of the amalgam in teeth because of the secondary effect the mercury produces, even in small quantities. (more…)

Dominican Republic: The struggle against Barrick Gold

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

[Translations of two articles, from Listín Diario for July 1 and for July 4, 2014, respectively. See originals here and here and related articles here, here, here and here. Dating from 1505, Cotuí is one of the first towns in the Americans to be established by the Spaniards, who exploited its rich deposits of gold for several centuries.]

Dominican Republic: Protests against Barrick Gold will continue

Residents of Cotuí complain of mine’s negative impact

By Lilian Tejeda

Residents of Cotuí, the capital of the province of Sánchez Ramírez, will continue their struggle next Monday against alleged abuses by the multinational mining company Barrick Gold, which in the five years since it was established in the country, they say, has left only a trail of disasters.

“You can’t live there, it is a disaster zone. There is no potable water, everything is contaminated, the animals are dying. Despite its being one of the richest provinces, right now it is the poorest,” said Miguel D’Oleo, president of the Confederación Nacional de Familias sin Casa y sin Tierra (National Confederation of Homeless and Landless Families). (more…)

A slow and certain threat in El Salvador

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

ContraPunto photo

[Translation of an article from ContraPunto of El Salvador for March 27, 2011. See original here.]

By Gloria Morán

San Salvador – Years ago fishing became the livelihood for the family of Don Maximiliano Figueroa, now past his 70th birthday. His means of support could now be threatened by mining. He lives in the hamlet of Las Cuevitas, in Metapán, Santa Ana.

The hope of catching something that might help feed him and his family knows no time of day. In the morning or in the afternoon, boats come and go on Güija Lake. (more…)

Peru: Oil spill leaves 28 indigenous communities without water or food

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Brack guarantees sanctions and prosecutor warns of penalties of up to 20 years in prison

[Translation of an article from La Razón of Lima for June 23.]

Residents of 28 indigenous communities in the Parinari and Urarinas distrricts, in the province of Loreto, are without water and are prevented from fishing, their principal source of food, after waters of the Marañón River were contaminated by a spill of more than 400 barrels of petroleum, severely affecting the ecosystem of the region.

Residents of the area told local media that “everybody is desperate because they don’t know what is going to happen in the next few hours due to the lack of commitment by Pluspetrol and the authorities. Two children have already suffered stomach problems because they drank water from the river. We have managed to take pictures of contaminated fish, with their fins coated in oil.” (more…)