Sunday, April 11, 2010

Kinross Gold Corporation meets Ali Baba on the Hill of the Souls

Kinross Gold Corporation meets Ali Baba on the Hill of the Souls

By Cylene Gama, from Paracatu-MG, Brazil, April 11, 2010

In the tale of ‘Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves’ the treasure is in a cave, the mouth of which is sealed by magic. It opens on the words ‘Open Sesame’, and seals itself on the words ‘Close Sesame’.

Canadian Kinross Gold Corporation is longing to put its craws on a treasure hidden in the Hill of the Souls at Paracatu, northwestern Minas Gerais State, Brazil. However, the Hill is sealed by a malediction long known by the Bacuen Indians, also known as the ‘Tapuias’. The Hill of the Souls was sacred for the Bacuen who believed that disturbing the hill would cause it to release evil souls.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Drinking-water-for-poison swap

Nothing in the drinking-water-for-poison swap in Paracatu makes sense except down the corruption pipeline

By Sergio U. Dani, from Göttingen, April 4, 2010

The Santa Isabel river is drying up. It has lost 3 billion liters of water in the last 18 years. Since 1996 this river has been the main source of drinking water for the 84 thousand inhabitants of Paracatu, a city located in the northwestern part of the Minas Gerais State, Brazil.

Until 1996, water supply to this 300 year old city relied upon the Rico Creek and water springs and wells located within the city and in the neighbour Santa Rita river basin. Beginning in 1987, an open pit gold mine has destroyed the waterheads of Rico Creek, and has contributed to the depletion or contamination the city’s wells.

Now the Santa Rita waterheads, which are considered the earliest and most valuable source of drinking water out of the urban environment of Paracatu – the water used to be delivered to the city by gravity through the famous “Master of Field Trench” – are at risk of being transformed into a deposit of over one billion tons of toxic mine tailings.

The tailings will contain one million tons of arsenic which is enough poison to kill billions of people. Besides directly destroying the sources of drinking water, mining activities are contaminating groundwater with poison and acid drainage.