PERU Last Friday, July 18, the government of Peru issued a 60-day state of emergency regarding the tailings area at the Coricancha polymetallic mine 90 km east of Lima. The mine is owned by Vancouver's GOLD HAWK RESOURCES that purchased the mine in March 2006, refurbished the mine and mill, and achieved commercial production on Oct. 1, 2007.
Government officials fear the tailings dam may fail, seriously polluting the Rimac River which is the main source of drinking water for Lima. The emergency decree covers the District of San Mateo, specifically the Tamoraque hillside near Gold Hawk's processing plant and tailings area. The decree calls for relocation of both the tailings impoundment and the plant.
A number of events are thought to have precipitated the problem. There has been high seismic activity in the region. A water channel that runs though the property and belongs to the hydro utility is thought to be leaking, and there is a problematic third-party irrigation system that was installed last year uphill from the plant site. Gold Hawk believes the plant and tails could be relocated over the next two years.
The Coricancha mine produces gold, silver, zinc, copper and lead. The photo gallery at www.GoldHawkResources.com shows the operation to be located high in the Andes Mountains.