Jamaica Monitors Gold Mine Leak


Dr Horace Chang (2nd left), addressing journalists about a toxic leak at the gold mine in Pennants, Clarendon, during a media briefing at the National Environment and Planning Agency yesterday. Others (from left) are: Chief Executive Officer, NEPA, Peter Knight; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Genefa Hibbert.

Jamaica Monitors Gold Mine Leak

The Jamaican Government said it was monitoring the reported chemical leak at the former AUSJAM gold mine in Clarendon.

Environment Minister Dr Horace Chang said the effort has included relocation of over seven tonnes of sodium cyanide, a chemical used during the mining process and which was being stored at the mine.

Dr Chang said the government was taking a multi-agency approach, headed by the National Environment and Planning Agency, to address the leak.

Yesterday, the government had announced that, despite the leak, operations could resume at the mine. Environmental science consultancy firm CL Environmental Company Limited has been contracted to examine the problem area.

“We have cordoned the area, made it secure, put up the appropriate signs and maintained a security guard in place to prevent anyone from entering the area,” Dr Chang said.

AUSJAM principals are currently in the country to discuss their input in cleaning up the site. NEPA CEO Peter Knight said the special team working on the mine was trying to finish the clean-up by today.

–Jamaica Information Service

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