Environmental groups in Argentina criticize suspension lift against Barrick Gold mine
Barrick Gold Corporation Chairman John Thornton speaks during company's annual general meeting in Toronto on Tuesday, April 28, 2015. (Nathan Denette /THE CANADIAN PRESS)
The Associated Press
Published Friday, September 25, 2015 3:55PM EDT
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina -- Environmental groups in Argentina on Friday criticized a judge's decision to lift orders suspending operations of Barrick Gold, the Canadian-owned mine that recently had a cyanide spill.
Groups including the Argentine Association of Environmental Lawyers argued it was too soon for investigators to know the severity of the spill or whether the problem had been corrected.
"We need to see the results" of the environmental tests, said local Greenpeace activist Gonzalo Strano.
On Tuesday, investigating Judge Pablo Oritja suspended all operations using cyanide at Barrick Gold's Veladero mine, about 786 (1,265 kilometres) northwest of Buenos Aires.
Oritja said an environmental impact could not be ruled out, but that waters were not contaminated. On Thursday, the suspension was lifted and on Friday the company the mine was fully operational.
On Sept. 13, Barrick said a pipe carrying cyanide at the mine had a valve failure, causing a leak into nearby waters. An investigation determined about 35,300 cubic feet (1,000 cubic meters) of liquid cyanide solution had spilled.
In a statement earlier this week, Barrick said that the amount of cyanide would not pose a risk to humans.