Mining executives wanted on Sevilla environmental damage charges

LAST UPDATED: 24 Dec, 2013 @ 14:01
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Mining executives wanted on Sevilla environmental damage charges

THE PRESIDENT of Gogebic Taconite is facing criminal charges over alleged sustained damage to the environment in Sevilla.

Bill Williams is one of three men wanted in relation to a 2008 criminal charge filed against four executives of the Spanish mining firm Cobre Las Cruces.

It is alleged that the company illegally constructed tailings ponds with contaminated water, conducted illegal groundwater drawdown, and contaminated the Posadas-Gerena aquifer with arsenic. The aquifer was reserved for irrigation and human consumption in times of drought.

The three officials include Williams, who was director of mining for the project until January of 2011, as well as Francois Fleury, an official with the Canadian parent company, Inmet Mining, who also served as chief executive officer of Cobre Las Cruces, and Paz Cosmen, the company’s environmental director. A fourth official, Juan Carlos Baquero, the firm’s director of water management had charges against him dismissed earlier in the process by Spanish Judge Ana Escribano.

Under Spanish law, the parties named in criminal and civil charges are permitted to appeal the allegations.

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  1. Past is prologue. Wisconsin legislature has entrusted environmental responsibility of what would be the largest open pit iron mine in the world to GTAC President Bill Williams, a person indicted for environmental crimes in Spain. Wisconsin’s trust is misplaced. The entire GTAC proposal is tainted by criminal past of Mr. Williams. Wisconsin’s new mining policy, drafted by GTAC and for GTAC’s benefit, is as suspect as Mr. Williams himself. It calls out for reconsideration by the legislature. In the meantime and until the cloud is clear, the DNR should be skeptical of the GTAC submissions. Economic development does not require all to suspend disbelief. Indeed, it require just the opposite.

  2. Jim Brennan,
    excellent post – miners don’t care about tomorrow, only profit today. You will know very well about the open caste mining in West Virginia, which was once one of America’s most beautiful places.

    Take a look at southern Wales once a truly lovely place, all that’s left now are the slag heaps and mining towns with no purpose.

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