Local March 19, 2012 | 11:28 am

“Save the Earth” fears Barrick Gold mine harms the environment

Santo Domingo.- Youngsters of the group “Save the Earth” on morning Monday said they defend life, water, health and the environment, in a gathering in front of the main offices of the miner Barrick Gold.

Reading a statement, Ariel Contreras and Natalia Marmol said dozens of environmental and social groups rebuke the “mega mining” in the country will stage the National Environmental Encounter in two weeks to demand a ban on the use of cyanide in mining nationwide.

The said they also support the campaign by the Latin America Mining Conflicts Observatory, to ban cyanide in the entire region, already in effect in Costa Rica and the European Union. “Mega open pit mining is an activity whose enormous scale entails major environmental impacts, such as the destruction large forests, the massive consumption of fresh water and electricity, the seepage of acid and above all the use of large amounts of highly toxic substances.”

The environmentalists,Quoted by news source hoy.com.do, in front of the Acropolis building, said one of the worst uses of cyanide is what’s planned for Barrick’s mine at Pueblo Viejo, Dominican Republic, to process 24,000 tons of mineral daily.

They said the cyanide is an extremely toxic substance which has caused major disasters in different parts of the world eliminating all forms of aquatic life along kilometers of rivers, poisoning people and polluting potable water sources.

The Save the Earth representatives said Barrick has yet to guarantee that spills during transport, use or storage won’t unleash major disasters.

Barrick responds

Minutes after the protest began Barrick Gold PR manager Jorge Esteva came out to try to convince them that their operations will not damage the environment and invited them to visit the mine near Cotuí, to show them that they haven’t polluted the water, the soil or the environment in general.

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