Pilot project: mining legacies “La Cienaga” in Peru
In 2016, MinSus conducted an environmental sampling in five abandoned tailings deposits in Pataz, a district in the Department of La Libertad in the Andean Sierra of Peru. These environmental liabilities are a result of the former gold mining activities in the region. Today, nobody is responsible for their remediation. The sampling led to two conclusions: 1) the tailings represented a significant risk to the health of the population and the environment, as heavy metals and metalloids such as lead, cadmium and arsenic were found with concentrations significantly exceeding those of International and the Peruvian Environmental Quality Standards for Soils (ECA Suelos); and 2) the tailings still contained gold. Since then, BGR has conducted a series of additional investigations to characterize the tailings, including detailed sampling, granulometric, chemical and mineralogical analyses. In addition, specialized tests have been initiated to determine the technical feasibility of reprocessing the tailings to obtain the valuable metals in these wastes.
Proposals have been prepared for the rehabilitation of the mining legacies, with support being provided to the multi-stakeholder working group that has been formed for the remediation of the La Ciénaga site.