MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Red Mine Waste Fouls Pristine Greek Bay

Published by MAC on 2002-12-16


ed Mine Waste Fouls Pristine Greek Bay

16 December 2002

Source: Environment News Service (ENS)

Deep red mine wastes from a lead and zinc mine owned by a subsidiary of the Toronto based TVX Gold, Inc., are discoloring the Bay of Ierissos in northeastern Greece. More than half a mile of the bay, known for its large sandy beaches, clear waters, and abundant fishing, is now streaked with pollution.

On December 6, the Greek Supreme Court ordered TVX to close down the mine beneath Stratoniki because TVX’s environmental assessments were found inadequate to ensure the safety of the village and its 800 people. The mine still continues to operate. Red mine wastes contaminate the Bay of Ierissos.

Local villagers and fishermen have observed the red wastes entering the bay since December 7.

Tolis Papageorgiou, a local civil engineer, says, “Commercial fishing could be seriously affected by this spill, because of the risk of heavy metal contamination. The bay of Ierissos is one of the major fisheries of Greece.”

The wastes flowing into the bay of Ierissos are likely to contain traces of lead, zinc, silver, and other toxic metals, as well as cyanide and other chemicals which are used to process metals from TVX’s mine.

 

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