Nov 4, 2019

Updates on the environmental study

Air quality monitoring
Air quality monitoring
Last month, we analyzed environmental samples such as air, water, soil and food, collected in different areas in Cerro de Pasco and surrounding. Now we are ready to share with you the main findings:
1. The contamination of water resources (rivers and lakes) is still present, even if it reduced its level since our last monitoring in 2016, due to the reduction of mining activities across the years. Tap water does not present heavy metals above law limits, but we found lead, arsenic and zinc above the Peruvian law limit in several spring water.
2. The air quality monitoring did not shown high concentration of heavy metals in the coarse fraction of suspended particles, even if we observed peaks of PM10 (inhalable fraction of partculate matter) near mining wastedisposals in the community of Paraghsa.
3. Lead has been found in lama meat who graze near the San Juan river (that received mining waste waters) due to the absorbtion through water and/or soil ingestion.
4. Extremly high concentration of toxic metals as lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic, have been found in school park and play grounds. Notoriously those playgrounds are surrounded by mining waste disposals.
The distribution of heavy metals observed in environmental matrix, mainly in soil, shows close relationship with metals found in hair of children analyzed during 2018. This help us to reinforce and empower our dialogue with our main stakeholders: mining companies and national and local government.
We will publish soon a report with these environmental results in order to share the founding with local and national authorities for advocacy and litigation paths. 
Water quality sampling
Water quality sampling
Water pollution
Water pollution
Measuring water pollution
Measuring water pollution
Aug 8, 2019

We are in Cerro de Pasco again!

The dispersion model of the dust contamination
The dispersion model of the dust contamination

Source International's staff is in Cerro de Pasco again.

In the last few weeks our staff is in Cerro de Pasco again to investigate more and more the impact of the mine on the local population. In the last few weeks:

  • We presented to the local population and the local media the results of our last study.
  • We prepared a model of dispersion of the mining dust in Cerro de Pasco. The model is showing us where the dust caused by the mine is deposited around the city of Cerro and it is shown in the picture below. In the picture it is possible to see that the community of Paragsha and Quilacocha are the more affected by the dust deposits.
  • Based on the model we installed five different stations of dust monitoring around the city of Cerro de Pasco and surrounding. With these stations we are able to monitor PM10, PM2.5 total deposited dust and also the amount of heavy metals in the inhalable dust.
  • We also collected more evidences on water and soil pollution.
  • We are using a drone to map all the area and therefore better design the maps of pollution of the entire area surrounding Cerro de Pasco.
  • We are collaborating with our local partner LABOR to increase the participation of local people in the monitoring of dust, water and human rights in the entire area.
Source International's staff in Cerro de Pasco
Source International's staff in Cerro de Pasco
The presentation of the study to the population
The presentation of the study to the population
May 13, 2019

Transparency for Cerro de Pasco - Visit from GlobalGiving

River pollution caused by Volcan
River pollution caused by Volcan

After years of research we were able to obtain all the files of the sanction received by the mining companies that in the years had administrated the mine of Cerro de Pasco. 

In a normal situation this should be a file easy to find online, but the government of Peru has always kept those data as "secret". We needed years of research, dozens of complains, hours in the line on the offices, but at the end we obtained the files. 

Volcan and Cerro Sac has dozens (you read well, dozens!) of open files for pollution and non-compliance of environmental standards. At least five of these are definitive and there are records of environmental pollution and health affectation. 

Unfortunately, we are still not able to know how much the company was obliged to pay nor if it paid at all; but we are confident to know it very soon. We will be back in Cerro in July and we will continue to push for transparency.

 

On May 24th Viktorija from GlobalGiving staff will visit Cerro de Pasco. She will have the opportunity to meet our partner LABOR, to visit the city and the mine and see how people are suffering due to the mine. Furthermore she will be able to see the job that we are doing in Cerro de Pasco thanks to your support!

 
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