Lima's Water Source Threatened by Mine Tailings

tailings image

Gold mine tailings + a water source for 10 million people = Bad News. Reuters has a story on the wires today about the Peruvian government's fears that with the looming rainy season, 744,000 metric tonnes of toxic tailings from a processing plant could wash into the Rimac River, which provides drinking water to Lima. The tailings belong to Gold Hawk Resources of Canada, which processes its gold at a plant close to the river.

"With the rains, there could be filtration on the hillside and cause a disaster that would affect the central highway, a mining facility, a hydroelectric plant, and the tailings would reach the Rimac River, causing a big disaster of contamination," Environment Minister Antonio Brack told Reuters.In July, the government told farmers to stop irrigating crops on the hills above the tailing site to avoid creating additional pressure on the ponds that hold the tailings. As we've noted in other posts about South American mines, increasingly the shared reliance on rivers between farmers, miners and urban dwellers is creating tensions and straining relations. : Via Reuters

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