An Australian company has applied to the environmental authorities for an authorization for large scale gold mining at Black Water Creek, Kaburi Area, Region Seven which will use cyanide in its recovery operations and an impact assessment now has to be done.
A notice in today’s Stabroek News from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that Pharsalus Gold Inc. is planning mining at what is known as the Hicks/Kaburi Concession in Cuyuni/Mazaruni. Planned use of cyanide will raise environmental concerns as it recalls the biggest environmental disaster to hit the country, the 1995 collapse of a tailings pond at Omai Gold Mines Limited used to store cyanide-laced effluent.
The EPA notice says that the project would entail an open pit mine which would see the clearing of vegetation, stripping of topsoil and blasting of hard rock. The project also encompasses construction of a processing facility, laboratory, cyanidation facility, power generating facilities and ground water wells. It would also require the upgrading of an existing access road.
In keeping with the EPA Act, 1996, the notice said that an Environmental Impact Assessment(EIA) is required for this project since it may have significant impacts on the environment.
Members of the public have 28 days from today’s notice to make written submissions to the agency setting out questions and matters which they require to be answered or considered in the EIA.
The notice said that a summary of the project is available on the EPA website or can be uplifted from the following office at a reasonable cost of photocopying.
The Environmental Protection Agency
C/o Director – Environmental Management Permitting Division
Ganges Street, Sophia, Georgetown.
Pharsalus has been prospecting here for a number of years. One of its sister companies has also been interested in exploring for rare earth metals here.
Both of the companies are part of Australian miner, Azimuth Resources Limited.
Several other large scale mining operators are preparing to begin gold extraction in the coming years