Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Swiss expert warns about the impact on water from the mining

Swiss specialist in environmental chemistry warns about the dangers related to the approval of different mining exploration projects in El Salvador. The overall supply of the water resources, the quality of the water in the rivers nearby, and the health of the population living nearby are severely threatened by the mining projects.

Fresh water is highly susceptible to contamination because of the acid drainage coming from the mines. This drainage contains high levels of heavy metals which are damaging to the waters. This is very difficult to evade even with the use of “green methods” in the mining. These methods are promoted by the companies, but are considered to represent a small difference from the normal methods.

The high amount of water needed to run the mines are also alarming because of the increasing scarcity of potable water and the likeliness of desertification of the surrounding nature. Millions of liters of water are needed, and this amount of water must be used at the expense of other needs.

In addition to these consequences, it was also investigated how the mining impacted the infant mortality rate. In the surroundings of a mine in Honduras, the swiss found an infant mortality rate at 300 for every 1000 inhabitants. This was immensely above the average rate of 26 for every 1000 inhabitants.

It was made an effort to have the mining companies comment on these findings, but it did not succeed.

Here is the link to the complete article from El Diario de Hoy


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