Toxic spill from zinc mine in Peru

(AP)—Peruvian authorities say wastewater laced with heavy metals from a major zinc mine has spilled into a tributary of the Amazon, contaminating at least six miles of the waterway.

Pasco regional mining enviromental engineer Juan Escalante tells The Associated Press that an unknown quantity of toxic wastewater from the Atacocha mine escaped from a sedimentation well Wednesday into the Huallaga River. The mine is owned by the Brazilian company Votorantim.

Peru's national water authority granted Atacocha a permit in 2011 to remove metals including mercury, cadmium, lead, iron and manganese from the mine's wastewater and release the treated water into the Huallaga.

Escalante said the area where the spill occured is in the at about 13,000 feet (4,000 meters).

Peru is the world's No. 2 producer of zinc.


Explore further

Toxic spill from China copper mine spreads

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Citation: Toxic spill from zinc mine in Peru (2012, September 3) retrieved 21 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-09-toxic-zinc-peru.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
0 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more