Canadian-based mining company Barrick Gold was given clearence to resume its operations in its Veladero mine, after authorities of the San Juan Province government approved its plan to recondition it and make sure another toxic spill won’t occur in the territory again.
It’s been twenty months since one of the largest gold mining companies in the world caused Argentina’s worst environmental tragedy to date, when it spilled over a million liters of cyanide solution in different rivers of the San Juan province in September of 2015.
Although several executives have been found guilty of negligence and fined thousands of dollars, Barrick’s Veladero mine has managed to avoid being permanently shut down despite causing two more spills in September 2016 and March 2017. Although the subsequent accidents were less serious than the first one, the fact that they even happened illustrate how little they’ve all learnt from these big mistakes.
- Read more: San Juan Government Suspends Barrick Gold’s Operations In Veladero Mine Following Yesterday’s Spill
Not only is fresh water being contaminated with heavy metals in concentrations that are empirically dangerous for humans, animals and plants, but also the generalized use of periglacial ground (i.e. close to glaciers) is almost certainly having a negative environmental impact. In fact, this is the main reason that prompted environmental organizations to regularly have the national and/or provincial governments close the mine.
The Toronto-based company is planning to get back to full productivity by June. A reconditioning plan is by all means necessary to start after these kind of unfortunate accidents. Let’s hope this time they are able to keep things safe and clean a broader demographic than isn’t just share holders this time.