LIMA, Peru — With the approaching rains threatening to destabilize tailing ponds near Lima, Peru’s government is preparing for the worst.
The ponds, a byproduct of a local mining operation, could overflow or be caught in a landslide, potentially threatening the drinking water of some 8 million Peruvians living in the capital.
“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 … the tailings would reach the Rimac River, causing a big disaster of contamination,” Environment Minister Antonio Brack told Reuters.
The Rimac River is the main source of drinking water for the city. The ponds, uphill and close to the river, contain dangerous and corrosive mining byproducts.
The company responsible for the ponds, Gold Hawk Resources of Canada, halted production in May as a precaution. Gold Hawk is also seeking a permit from the government to create a new facility and relocate the waste.
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Source : Reuters
Circle of Blue’s east coast correspondent based in New York. He specializes on water conflict and the water-food-energy nexus. He previously worked as a political risk analyst covering equatorial Africa’s energy sector, and sustainable development in sub-Saharan Africa. Contact: Cody.Pope@circleofblue.org