Guatemalan Minister of Environment takes legal action against the Montana mining company

The Guatemalan Minister of Environment, Luis Ferrate, called for an investigation of the discharge of wastewater from the tailings pond of the Marlin Mine.  Mr. Ferrate believes that the wastewater is likely to pollute the Quivichil River due to its content of heavy metals.

The Environmental Management Unit of the Ministry of Environment claimed that the discharge was made without the authorization of the ministry.  In addition, the Ministry of Environment demanded that the Mexican Government be notified of the incident, since the Quivichil River flows into Mexican territory.

Despite these claims, Montana reports that their operations are done within a framework of transparency, and are monitored regularly.

The company further claims that the discharge is mostly excess rainwater that accumulates during the winter, and that has been recirculated through the industrial water treatment plant.

Alvaro Ramazzini, Bishop of the Diocese of San Marcos, argued that the problem is that the contents of the wastewater are not known, and that the communities had not been informed about it.

Source: La Prensa Libre

Photo of the Marlin Mine by Tracy Barnett

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