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Another September waiting ... 4 years after the Barrick spill

Another September waiting ... 4 years after the Barrick spill

Hoping our rulers don't fool us let the powerful enforce the law as well. Because they always make it easier, they fall with all the rigor of the law on the weakest, on the defenseless and vulnerable people, and not on the multinationals. Furthermore, they are willing to violate and modify laws to protect the soulless interests of extractivist corporations.

It is enough to remember that the Environmental Impact Statement and the Operational Plan for the Monitoring and Maintenance of the Leaching System in the Valley, establish that the level of the Rich Solution Storage Area must never exceed the red alert level of 3,927 meters above sea level. (masl). However, on August 17, 2015, the elevation exceeded 3,930 meters above sea level, which is why, on September 12, 2015, the embankment of the Leaching System in Valle slipped, which caused a large spill of hydroelectric solution, with cyanide and mercurio, on the Potrerillos river. Then over the Las Taguas river, then over the La Palca river and, finally, over the Blanco river and the Jáchal river. That is the level of the rich solution in the levee of the leaching valley was almost 4 meters higher than allowed when the big spill occurred. ESA was the real cause of the spill, the embankment or wall slide of the rich solution dam, and not the rupture of a valve in a pipe that had a lean solution (cyanide water without mercury). The difference is brutal.

This risky way of working had already been denounced, but it was covered up.

The spill was caused by the irresponsible ambition of the company, combined with the complicity of the government and its lack of control.

Once the large spill occurred on September 12 and 13, 2015, Barrick and Gioja tried to hide it, but the information was leaked and the Town of Jáchal found out. On September 14, Barrick released an official statement in which he lied by saying that there was no pollution in the rivers, he also lied, by saying that they were unfounded versions, and he lied with the valve version. While Gioja came out to say that he was willing to drink water from the Jáchal river, but he never went near the Jáchal river and did not even come to face the People, he erased himself. Yes, the current national president of the Justicialista Party never took charge of the mercury contamination of the Jáchal river basin. There were also several other accomplices, now not worth mentioning, who tried to hide the truth from the People, because treason has many faces. But the truth has only one, and sooner or later it appears.

After this large spill there were many more, confirmed by the excess mercury detected in the Jáchal river basin. But none of our leaders wants to enforce the laws, they prefer to continue maintaining the great lie and the great looting, and with it the great contamination. They do not want to enforce the National Mining Code, nor the General Environmental Law, nor the Hazardous Waste Law, nor the Glacier Law. We continue to wait for justice to be served.

Meanwhile, we pray that the next President put on his long pants and thus put Argentina on its feetThat he does not follow the advice of the countrymen who are going to surround him, because the only thing he is going to do by kneeling before the extractivist multinationals is to condemn the People to chronic contamination, making submission and misery permanent. There is no place where mega-mining has been done. who has come out of poverty. He remains as poor or poorer, as well as polluted and divided. That is his grand strategy with the sacrifice areas.

Whoever comes must choose between enforcing the law or violating it, between governing for the interests of the People or being the sepoy on duty.

September 2019 Assembly Jáchal No Se Touca

Annex of the statement Jáchal No Se Toca Assembly of September 13, 2019

At the Veladero Mine, owned by the irresponsible Canadian Barrick Gold, on August 17, 2015, the limit established by the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the normal level of the rich solution reservoir (cyanide water with mercury and precious metals) was exceeded. . That day, the General Manager of Veladero, Antonio Adames, started the Minute Book of the Plan of Action During Emergencies (PADE) of the Leaching System in Valle (SLV), because the rich solution dike had exceeded 3,926 meters above sea level ( masl) established as the maximum rate authorized by the DIA.

According to the SLV's Operational Plan for Monitoring and Maintenance (POMM), the elevation level of the Rich Solution Storage Area (AASR) should never exceed the red alert level of 3,927 meters above sea level. But this situation, far from being properly solved, was aggravated by the melting of the snow that fell in the leaching valley until it reached 3,930.83 meters above sea level on September 12, 2015 when the embankment of the Leaching System in Valle ( TSLV) that caused the large spill of a solution rich with cyanide and mercury, which lasted until September 13, on the Potrerillos river, then on the Las Taguas river, then on the La Palca river and, finally, on the Blanco river and the riverJáchal. In other words, the level of the rich solution in the levee of the leaching valley was 4 meters higher than allowed when the large spill occurred, that was the cause of the slide of the Embankment or the wall of the solution of the levee.

According to the POMM, Mr. Adames communicated this situation to the mining minister of San Juan, Ing. Felipe Saavedra. In other words, the then governor of San Juan, Ing. José Luis Gioja, was aware of the level of red alert at which the Veladero mine was operating, and he did not want to or was incompetent to control this serious situation that had been generated almost a month before the oil spill. at least four million six hundred milliters of solution rich with cyanide and mercury on the headwaters of the Jáchal river basin.

But someone, seeing this situation of danger due to an excess of rich solution in the dam, operated and succeeded in having the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation reject, ten days before the great cyanide and mercury spill, a judicial complaint against Barrick Gold for breaches of the Veladero Mine. We do not believe in this type of coincidence. If the Court had not rejected that complaint, it would have had to accept the treatment of the complaint as ruled by the Court Attorney a year before, and, in that hypothetical case, the Court would have been obliged to rule on Barrick Gold's illegalities in its Veladero mine. This is how they saved Barrick's skin for the first time. The second time, they took part of the case from Judge SebastiánCasanello to save Barrick CEO Guillermo Caló. For the third time, Governor Sergio Uñac and his Minister Alberto Hensel brought together the administrative causes of the second and third spill recognized by Barrick Gold and Shandong Gold so as not to have to comply with the Article 264 subsection “e” of the Mining Code that establishes that in the event of THREE (3) serious infractions, the mining establishment will be closed definitively. The fourth time, the unpresentable Judge Pablo Oritja, at the request of the Jachal Prosecutor Sohar Aballay, filed in record time the legal complaints for the second and third recognized spill, without taking into account the analysis of the National University of Cuyo de Mendoza in which mercury was detected in the river, in quantities that double and triple the amount detected in the large spill of September 2015. In other words, the contamination also reached, in September 2016 and March 2017, the rivers of the Jáchal river basin. The fifth time, Rabbi Sergio Bergman did not apply the Glacier Protection law. It still does not apply it, allowing the IANIGLA to make the forced disappearance of glaciers smaller than one hectare, contrary to articles 2 and 3 of this Law.

Once the large spill occurred on September 12 and 13, 2015, Barrick and José Luis Gioja tried to hide it, but the information leaked and the Town of Jáchal found out.

On September 14, Barrick released an official statement that read "In the face of a series of unfounded versions, Barrick wishes to report that there was no contamination in the rivers that flow in the Jachal river basin." And he gave the incredible version that a valve that broke caused the "incident", that valve is still waiting to be tested. Judge PabloOritja bought that version that the company sold him. Barrick lied by saying there was no pollution in the rivers, also lied by saying they were unfounded accounts, and lied by imposing the version of the broken valve as the cause of the large spill. While Gioja came out to say that he was willing to drink water from the Jáchal river, but he never approached the Jáchal river or came to face the People of Jáchal. Yes, the current national president of the Justice Party never took charge of the contamination of the Jachal river basin.

After this large spill there were many more, confirmed by the excess mercury detected in the Jáchal river basin. 1°) September 12-13, 2015; 2°)February 2 and 3, 2016; 3°) August 25, 2016; 4°) September 16, 2016; 5°) March 30, 2017; 6°)November 29, 2017; 7°) December 27, 2017; 8°) February 28, 2018; 9°) April 4, 2018; 10°) August 1, 2018; 11°) September 5, 2018; 12°) October 3, 2018; 13°) February 6, 2019 ...

The confirmed spills were those of September 2015, September 2016 and March 2017. The other spills were concealed by Minera Andina del Sol and the government.

In another Minute Book, where the other PADE was started due to the spillage of rich solution, Act No. 1 dated September 13, 2015, says that at 11:15 a.m.slide of the embankment also observing a solution leak."In other words, the embankment is the one that slid and that produced the spill of solution that reached the river. On page 4 of these minutes the anomaly is classified as dangerous of emergency level II. "A contingency or anomaly is developing in the SSS which, if it continues, could lead to its failure in the short term”. Act No. 1 is signed by Eng. EmilianoCampanella (General Manager of Processes-Barrick-MAGSA) and Lic. Walter Pizarro (Processes Manager-Barrick Veladero). By their positions and degree of knowledge of the POMM, they know what was the real cause of the big spill: the SLV Embankment slide.

The anomalies, according to the Operational Plan for the Monitoring and Maintenance of the valley leaching system (POMM) of the Veladero Mine, is any situation identified as such in the POMM that generates or may generate an undeclared environmental impact in the Environmental Impact Report (IIA). From the same POMM it also emerges that the term embankment is unique, because every time in this manual refer to embankment is the Valley Leaching System Embankment (TSLV). Even in the maps of the Veladero mine it is identified as Embankment to the wall of the Rich Solution Storage Area (AASR). And what was detected in the different rivers was a rich solution, that is, cyanide and mercury were detected. If the cause of the spill had been the rupture of the valve, cyanide would have been detected but not mercury, because the valve was on a pipe that carried lean solution (cyanide without mercury) from the Process Plant of the mine to the Leaching Valley. In the main file 38,803 entitled “Marín, Enrique and Municipality of Jáchal v. Minera Argentina Gold and another S / Amparo of collective interest, which was processed in the Jáchal court, it was provided by the lawyers of Minera Argentina Gold S.A. (Barrick Gold) a Technical Report signed by Roberto Ángel Caso (MAGSA - Veladero - Barrick environmental supervisor) detailing the total cyanide and mercury values ​​detected by SGS (external laboratory contracted by Barrick Gold) in 67 samples taken during the first five days after the spill on September 12 and 13, 2015 in the lower basin of the Jáchal River. Where it is clearly appreciated the peak of the rich solution spill at the sampling point named PAL-1. Sample N ° 9,753 obtained at 12:55 p.m. on September 15, 2015 in PAL-1 gave the following results: 0,086 milligrams of Total Cyanide per liter of water and 0,0012 milligrams of Mercury per liter of water.

For more information https://jachalnosetoca.com/

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