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Government passes new rules for cyanide leaching method

GOLD cyanidation should be possible in a certain locality only after people living in the affected area give their consent to this method of gold extraction in a referendum, according to an amendment to the mining law that was approved by the government on August 27.

GOLD cyanidation should be possible in a certain locality only after people living in the affected area give their consent to this method of gold extraction in a referendum, according to an amendment to the mining law that was approved by the government on August 27.

The amendment comes in response to plans to mine gold by using cyanide leaching in the localities of Kremnica and Detva (both Banská Bystrica Region). The authors of the legislative amendment, Smer MPs Jana Laššáková, Ján Senko, Emília Müllerová and Michal Bagačka, argue that by pushing for the provision they are responding to various initiatives on the part of environmental organisations and the wider public against gold mining, as reported by the TASR newswire.

Citing the constitution, the legislators went on to emphasise that all people have the right to favourable environmental conditions and to protection of health.

“Any processing, adjustments and cultivation of minerals via the technology of cyanide leaching, along with the creation of waste dumps, deposits and waste ponds, produces activities that entail a grave infringement of the right to a favourable environment, with a certain potential to endanger, damage ... the health of the population,” the proposal reads, as quoted by TASR.

The amendment, therefore, would ban cyanide leaching when processing minerals, as well as the creation of waste dumps, deposits and waste ponds when using this technology. At the same time, the proposal stipulates that the method could be used if the general consent of the people living in the affected area is obtained in a referendum.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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