For every ton of minerals extracted, 30 tonnes of mining waste are generated.
With 1.5 million tons of residue created per day, Chile is the world leader in
REQUINOA, Chile: From the sky, the glistening emerald ponds of northern Chile are almost beautiful, but closer to the ground they harbour an ugly and dangerous secret: the reservoirs, filled with toxic waste from the country’s mining industry, are ticking time bombs.
Mines are the pillar of Chile’s economy, but their byproducts – which accumulate in ravines, mountain areas, river beds and reservoirs, and which are often used to create tailings dams, pose a handful of problems for surrounding inhabitants.
Apart from the environmental threat, the recent collapse of two Brazilian dams that killed hundreds of people has triggered alarm in Chile, which produces approximately a third of the world’s copper. Continue Reading →