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General News | Mar 25, 2004

Cyanide Spillage - EPA orders closure of Sankofa Gold Mine

GNA

Accra, March 25, GNA - The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ordered the Prestea Sankofa Gold Limited to shut down as a result of cyanide spillage from the mine into River Asasere at Hinman, near Prestea on March 21.

A statement issued by the Public Affairs Department of the EPA, said reports from the Tarkwa Office of EPA indicated that a "slurry containing cyanide within the retention bund at the mineral processing plant was washed by two days of heavy rains into the nearby Asasere Stream".

The statement said the "incident occurred because the company failed to clean the slurry containing the cyanide before the rains came". It said monitoring exercise conducted by Officials of the EPA showed that local fishermen had found 1,047 fishes and eight prawns killed as a result of the spillage.

The statement said the Company did not notice the incident until the local community reported it; neither did it report it to the EPA. EPA said communities around the catchment area of the Asasere Stream had been informed while security men had been detailed at the two entry points to the stream to prevent people from removing dead fishes from it.

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