Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015 | 02:50:09 AM

The controversial Omai gold mine which was shut down in August last year after a cyanide spill (Down to Earth, Vol 4, No 9) is to be reopened shortly, after a commission appointed by the Guyana government declared it safe. However, the recommendation comes alongwith a rider that improved environmental protection safeguards must be installed at the mine.

The Canadian-owned mine was closed after three million cubic metres of cyanide-tainted water spilled from a defective dam into rivers. While the use of cyanide as a means of extracting gold has fueled criticism, company officials maintain that the chemical was the most economic and also environmentally accepted means of gold extraction. They further add that they did not have any alternative other than discharging cyanide into the Essequibo, the largest river in Guyana. The environment protection measures will now ensure cyanide degradation before it is released into the Essequibo.

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.