Posts Tagged ‘Pascua Lama’

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…)

Chile: Barrick Gold mine threatens water supply

Saturday, April 14th, 2012

((Pascua Lama – El Mostrador photo))

The Cerro Casale mine, the next Pascua Lama

[Translation of an article from El Mostrador of Santiago, Chile, for April 9, 2012. See original here. Like the Cerro Casale project, Pascua Lama is an open-pit gold, silver and copper mine being developed by Barrick Gold of Canada. High in the Andes, on the border between Chile and Argentina, it has sparked considerable protest, in part because of its proximity to glaciers.]

by Alejandra Carmona

Rosa Ahumada says everything was different at one time. That at least the first 35 of her 46 years were different.

“I know a farmer who had an 80-meter well to water his vegetables, but it went dry. He had lettuce, potatoes, tomatoes and onions. He used to plant more than 50 hectares. Now he has only enough for 18,” says Rosa as she rushes through the story because, she warns, this is only one of the stories that burden a region that is going dry. (more…)