Toxic spill from Peruvian zinc mine contaminates 10km of Amazon
LIMA (AP) - Peruvian authorities say wastewater laced with heavy metals from a major zinc mine has spilled into a tributary of the Amazon, contaminating at least 10km of the waterway.
A regional mining enviromental engineer Juan Escalante explained that an unknown quantity of toxic wastewater from the Atacocha mine escaped from a sedimentation well on Wednesday into the Huallaga River. The mine is owned by the Brazilian company Votorantim.
Peru's national water authority granted Atacocha a permit in 2011 to remove metals including mercury, cadmium, lead, iron and manganese from the mine's wastewater and release the treated water into the Huallaga.
Escalante said the area where the spill occured is in the Andes mountains at about 4,000m above sea level.