MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Guatemala: Catholic Church Denounces Mining Company

Published by MAC on 2007-01-25
Source: Tierramérica

GUATEMALA: Catholic Church denounces mining company

GUATEMALA, Jan 13 (Tierramérica) - The Episcopal Conference of Guatemala (CEG) reported that the Canadian Gold Corp mining company may be polluting the Tzalá river and putting at risk some 5,000 people in the municipality of Sipacapa, on the border with Mexico.

The river water contains 80 times the legal limit of copper, 13 times that of aluminum and 2.5 times that of mangenese, Álvaro Ramazzini, president of the CEG, told Tierramérica.

According to a study carried out by Italian Flaviano Bianchini, of the El Salvador Center for Research on Investment and Trade, there is a process of acid run-off that drains from the mine cut and the waste rock into the river.

But Eduardo Villacorta, Central American executive director for Gold Corp, rejected the study's results because "they were not accompanied by laboratory certificates."

"We have been doing quarterly monitoring analyses since 2002 which say the opposite," he said in a communiqué.

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