The Secretary of Environmental Management and Mining Control, Marcelo Ghiglione, asked to bring tranquility to the population and explained that the leak was small and is already controlled. Almost like a business image consultant, he assured that it was a failure that has not been registered in the last “15 years”.
Marcelo Ghiglione, Secretary of Environmental Management and Mining Control, explained that it was “a technical failure in a valve” and that inconveniences of this type were not registered in the last 15 years. As he said, "the material left the leaching valley and went to the Taguas River, but it quickly diluted and the problem is currently solved."
“There is no danger to the population, you can drink water everywhere, and we are doing the pertinent controls so that it does not happen again. This was a mechanical, possibly manufacturing failure, ”he added with dangerous oversimplification.
Neighbors ask to cut the water in Jáchal due to a broken pipe in Veladero
A pipe broke at the Veladero mine and a leak would have occurred. Neighbors summoned themselves in front of the municipality to demand that the water supply be cut off. Barrick denies there is contamination.
At this time, the Jáchal community is embarrassed due to an event that first came to light as a rumor, through text messages and social networks, and then it was confirmed when the departmental authorities gave explanations.
It all started around 10 a.m. Sunday, when a pipe at Barrick's Veladero Mine broke and a leak occurred. This leak was unofficially said to be cyanide.
Just late at night, messages began to circulate via WhatsApp and social networks, alerting family and friends in Jáchal about the situation and asking them not to ingest the water due to the alleged leakage of that liquid. Neighbors were not delayed and went to the Municipality of Jáchal to demand answers about those transcended.
Around 200 people approached the municipality and the departmental square. The neighbors' request, given the fear that invaded them by the messages, was overwhelming: cut off the water supply immediately and suspend classes.
The mayor Jorge Barifusa came out to talk with the neighbors and confirmed the breakage of a pipe in the mine. In turn, he affirmed that "from what they have told me, it is safe to drink the water." In the same way, the communal chief said that "we have to do the studies that will give us peace of mind but at the same time not to supply Jáchal.
Barifusa, aware of the situation, summoned his entire cabinet to work and bring a solution to the town of Jáchal. In addition, together with the neighbors, an emergency commission has been formed, so that they can collaborate and be immediately aware of all the news that may exist.
For now, this Monday at 7 in the morning, meetings will begin in the Deliberative Council to establish all the necessary preventive measures in case there is any type of contamination in the department's drinking water. In turn, the immediate presence of people from OSSE, the UNSJ and laboratories to analyze the water has already been requested.
Saùl Seballos in telephone communication FM Cosmos confirmed that SALUD PÙBLICA and OSSE went to take water samples and assembly members from Jàchal were witnesses of the sampling and also they took their own to have them analyzed in other laboratories. The scandal resulted in widespread unease and fear among the residents who feel once again ignored by the municipal and provincial leaders.
Barrick like it's not to blame
Miguel Martín, Barrick's Chief of Communications, stated: "They are saying that the water is contaminated but it is all false."
In turn, he reported that at 7.30 am today they will issue an official statement from the company to bring peace of mind and explain everything that happened.
Martín flatly reiterated: "We have no contaminated water anywhere" without defining which side he was referring to within the geography of San Juan.
Mineral water was no longer available in some shops
The alert that was generated caused the shops to be overcrowded and the jachalleros to buy all the mineral water that was available.
The Governor on Barrick's Side
The San Juan governor, Gioja, referred to the breakage of a pipe in Veladero that generated panic among the jachalleros, attentive to the versions that maintain a possible contamination in the water. He assured that a summary will be initiated to determine responsibilities for what happened.
"You have to do the summary and it will be punished if it should be punished," the president told the press. The information about what happened in Veladero spread like wildfire and the versions have multiplied, and so far the only official version is it. contributed by the company.
“It was a technical contingency that was controlled and did not create problems. You have to bring security to everyone. All the precautions are taken, they are things that can happen ”, he added.