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article imageCanada’s Barrick Gold fined $16M for environmental violations

By Igor I. Solar     May 24, 2013 in Environment
Vallenar - The Superintendent of Environment (SMA) in Chile imposed a fine of US$ 16.4 million to Canadian mining company Barrick Gold for environmental violations at the gold-silver-copper project known as "Pascua Lama" and halted construction of the project.
The fine was applied because the company failed to comply with the provisions of the Environmental Qualification Resolution (RCA) which authorized the construction of the Pascua Lama gold-silver-copper mining project in the Region of Atacama in the Chilean Andes. According to the grading established in the Organic Law of the SMA, the irregularities include one violation considered “very serious” and four violations classified as “serious”.
The most serious breach of the rules, conditions and measures set out in the CRA is the failure of building structures associated with the management system of contaminated waters, which should have been implemented prior to the tasks of excavation.
The four flaws considered “serious” relate to omissions in responding to four government resolutions ordering the adoption of provisional corrective security and control measures, and the delivery of information on the implementation of corrective measures that should be adopted.
The fine applied to Toronto-based Barrick Gold Corporation for breach of environmental regulations and failure to deliver timely reports as required, amounts to U.S. $ 16.4 million, the highest allowed by Chilean law for breaches of
Satellite view of the Pascua Lama mining project in the Argentina-Chile border.
Satellite view of the Pascua Lama mining project in the Argentina-Chile border.
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environmental rules. The sanction also establishes the need for urgent and temporary actions, and includes the suspension of construction activities at Pascua Lama, while the company does not operate the water management system in the manner provided in the Environmental Qualification Resolution.
Additionally, and to avoid further damage to the environment, the Superintendent directed the mining company the construction of a system to receive, transport and unload sediments, which will be of a temporary nature, while implementing definitive works.
Other fines had previously been assessed to Barrick Gold earlier this year (reported in Digital Journal) also for failure to comply with environmental regulations in the development of the Pascua Lama gold mining project.
More about Barrick Gold Corporation, Pascua Lama, Gold mining, Canadian company, Chilean Andes
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