Brazil fines Canadian miner Great Panther for cyanide leak at gold mine – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – January 2, 2022)

A Brazilian state environmental regulator has fined Canadian precious metals producer Great Panther Mining Ltd.GPL-A -3.41%decrease $11.4-million, after ruling a cyanide leak at the company’s gold mine in Brazil polluted local rivers and killed a large fish population.

Vancouver-based Great Panther operates the open-pit Tucano gold mine in Amapa state in northern Brazil. Until a few days ago, the company’s chairman was well-known Canadian mining executive David Garofalo, who is also the former head of Goldcorp Inc., a onetime high flier in the gold mining industry.

After complaints in November by residents about dead fish in rivers near Great Panther’s Tucano mine, Brazil’s State Department for the Environment, or SEMA, started an investigation.

The regulator analyzed satellite images, collected water samples, compared before and after pictures of waterways, and studied fish populations. SEMA concluded that the Igarape Silvestre and Igarape Areia waterways were contaminated with cyanide and the cause was a leak at Tucano’s tailings dam.

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