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Barrick Gold cyanide spill in Argentine mine analyzed by UN team of experts

Monday, September 21st 2015 - 08:19 UTC
Full article 5 comments

A group of United Nations experts have started to analyze water samples in the Argentine northeastern province of San Juan where a spill from a malfunctioning cyanide pipeline in a gold mine belonging to Canada's multinational Barrick Gold has caused a water emergency. The Veladero mine in San Juan is one of the largest in Argentina and apparently the spill reached the rivers Jachal, Las Taguas and Blanco. Read full article


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  • ChrisR

    This is what happens when the company puts out messages that everything is OK only to be found that either they were lying or utterly incompetent in mine operation.

    Faulty valves happen all the while and systems have been in place for decades to avoid this failure from turning into a disaster.

    But the people of SA are incapable of looking just one step ahead and then denying any blame when the shit hits the fan. Everything is an “accident” when the facts are far different.

    You only have to see them driving cars in the most dangerous manner through towns to understand why there are 21.5 fatalities per 100K drivers in UYU when the comparable figure in the UK is 3.5/100k.

    Sep 21st, 2015 - 01:12 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • redp0ll

    Now Chris lets be fair. Barrick is a Canadian megamining company with a somewhat doubtful record in environmental protection. As you no doubt know their Pascua Lama Project in the high Andes which straddles the Argentine/Chilean frontier has run into constant trouble with the Chilean authorities who not only fined Barrick U$D 13 m but suspended the Project.
    With the fall in the gold Price its posible they are cutting a few corners.
    What surprises me is that there was no back up system to contain any spillage or ground wáter contamination. There certainly is here on the working gold mine in Uruguay.
    I seem to recall a comment to these threads by an argy contibutor that Barrick has the San Juan provincial government in its pocket so thats maybe why barrick has been allowed to cut some corners?

    Sep 21st, 2015 - 03:08 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ChrisR

    @ 2 redp0ll

    I share your concerns about Barrick but closing the gate in a system designed to stop further problems is hardly challenging, is it? The local mine personnel just didn't bother.

    Basically, they don't care what happens to others despite the harm they may come to.

    Just look at OSE and the so called 'bloom' problem at Laguna del Sauce!

    It is blindingly obvious that despite Mujica's protestations that farmers do not over-use fertilizers or even use pesticides at all the evidence points to the contrary. One of my Uruguayo friends has a farm and an electrical parts shop and has in the window a montage of Mujica together with the truth. I think he despises the murdering bastard even more than me.

    Did OSE put monitoring on the streams that feed LdelS for these problems? If they did they are not providing the evidence that's for sure.

    It took Vasquez to act (in support of the election) and stop payment until the problem was “solved” as if it only took a few weeks! And now they have admitted to even bigger and more costly problems in two other areas!

    So yes, the big corporations are very far from blameless but the incompetence of UYU monopolies is a very close second in my judgement.

    Sep 21st, 2015 - 06:23 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ynsere

    When a company is found wanting, at least you know that the people responsible will most probably get the sack. This is not the case regarding Uruguay's state-owned entities such as the waterworks (OSE), the electric power concern (UTE), the petroleum monopoly (Ancap), the telecommunications administration (Antel) and the insurance company (BSE). It will be no different if the government is allowed to set up the state-owned building entity they're calling for.

    Sep 22nd, 2015 - 11:39 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ChrisR

    @ 4 ynsere


    Sep 23rd, 2015 - 06:36 pm - Link - Report abuse 0

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