Petaquilla not yet extracting

Actualizado
  • 04/04/2009 02:00
Creado
  • 04/04/2009 02:00
The National Environmental Authority (ANAM) made this clear after Panama’s Center for Environmental Incidence (CIAM) released the result...

The National Environmental Authority (ANAM) made this clear after Panama’s Center for Environmental Incidence (CIAM) released the results of a technical report made by ANAM shedding light on Petaquilla Gold’s breach of mining activity norms in the area of Coclesito, province of Colon.

According to ANAM’s director Ligia Castro, unlike the information released by CIAM, the technical report 110-09 does not state that the company began operations.

However, she did admit that the company had failed to follow the norms of which mining activity is based on here in Panama.

Among the findings that denote the lack of special care mining activity requires, is the accumulation of garbage and scrap iron and improper storage management of chemicals.

Jose Gabriel Castillo lawyer to Petaquilla Gold defended the company claiming that he had not been notified of a such a technical report and knows nothing of the matter, stating: “the company has followed all of Panama’s environmental norms”, adding that the company has provided more than 1,700 jobs.

For years now ANAM has maintained a close eye on Petaquilla.

Ligia Castro recalls how one of their previous inspections resulted in an $1.8 million fine because the company began working in an area without first conducting an Environmental Impact Study.

As a result the company challenged the motion made by ANAM and the Supreme Court of Justice ruled in favor of Petaquilla Gold.

During the ongoing dispute Raiza Banfield head of CIAM called for government entities to annul the mining contract because the Environmental Impact Study was violated.

Banfield also pressed charges against the company, soliciting an investigation be conducted by the Public Ministry to determine whether the reported findings constitute a crime against Panamanian laws.

Massive numbers of dead fish, deer, iguanas and other animals have been reportedly found in the areas surrounding the mine. Inhabitants of the San Jose community have already organized themselves and plan to voice their fears.

Toribio Valdez, one of the residents considers that all this damage has been caused by the contamination of the Molejon river.

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