Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Good illustration

Matt Boutet sent me an email recently about a story that Dave Sherwood had just written on an open pit mine project that was forced to close. Matt wrote: "I just heard from Dave, his latest project down in Costa Rica was a story on a recently closed open pit gold mine down there. With all the buzz around the Pebble Mine up in AK and the Felt Soul film coming out, it seems like this is a good illustration of what could happen up there if the project gets the green light."
I sent Dave an email asking him for a short overview on this Bellavista story and he wrote back: "Open-pit gold mines are rarely without their problems. But when landslides ripped across the face of the Bellavista open-pit gold mine in Miramar, Costa Rica, mine officials were shocked. The disaster left 350 unemployed and a potential environmental disaster hanging in the balance. Costa Rica's Gulf of Nicoya, a prime fishing ground for snook, red snapper, corvina and sharks is threatened. Miners blamed God. Activists, townspeople and environmentalists believe it may have been something more. "

To read Dave's story on the Bellavista Mine click here.

Photos by Ronald Reyes and Dave Sherwood

3 comments:

Adam Dean said...

I can only hope that the power of the fly fishing industry, conservation groups, and locals can overcome the power of Northern Dynasty Minerals.

If any of you have time, check out my blog at http://thomasjeffersontrout.blogspot.com/. I just started it and only have two articles, but hope to do many more.

six17 said...

Are you kidding me? Peter Tagliamonte “did the right thing” he closed the mine as soon as the movement was discovered. May 2007 the mine stopped production and was neutralized of all dangerous substances. That includes gold that was paid for to produce in the leach pad. Today BellaVista is soon to be back in its natural state, a pristine jungle never to be a heap leach site as stated by Mr. Tagliamonte. The workers were paid as to there union contract allows. I’m not kidding you when I say “ Peter T did the right thing at BellaVista and will be back soon drilling for ore results. If they are good enough then here comes the mill” 350 miners more like 1500 jobs with such an operation.

El Pescador said...

Noted Six17. Thank you for expressing your opinion. It's great and commendable when officials do "the right thing" after an accident happens but the gist of the piece from my perspective is more about the reality that accidents do happen and "pristine" is often compromised, sometimes forever. It's complex as is usually the case with mining and economies. Even with the best engineering that man can muster it's Mother Nature who can often toss the big monkey wrench into the gears. I'm sure the debate over mining will continue.