Electric Mining

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We have been reporting on details little known about the mining and electric transnational companies, making a lot of reference to HidroAysén and little to Energia Austral, the subsidiary of the transnational mining giant Xstrata and owner of this project to build two dams on the CuervoRiver. Indeed, one criticism we make of ourselves is that we are dedicating too little attention to this project. How is that it may go unnoticed this company and mega-project that brings together all that we criticize, whose energy will be produced at the cost of the environment and the people of Aysen, and has a clear objective to feed the mines of El Morro & La Fortuna and El Pachon?
 
The truth is that Energia Austral-Xstrata, the heir to Alumysa-Noranda,appeared with its restored project when we were already dedicating great effort to the Goliath known as Hidroaysen, which is no small challenge in itself. Meantime, the Cuervo project from the start was impractical and un-real. The project does not have the amount of water they say or would like to have, neither can it generate the power that they claim, and its environmental impact study (EIS), delivered in January 2007, stated, among other lies, that it was not situated in an earthquake zone, then embarrassingly occurred an earthquake in Aysen.
 
Still, last year this company insisted on presenting a "new" EIS (the truth is that it feeds and even contradicts still more “scientific” information from its previous EIS and that of Alumysa), although it is clear that this time they were careful to admit that their could be earthquakes, but of course only every 100 or more years or so, and the same goes for the possibility of volcano eruptions (that for Alumysa numbered two and dormant) which now include 4 active volcanoes.
 
Still, the geological fault Liquiñe-Ofqui, the most feared in the country, and in which the geological baseline of this project passes right over it, right where they want to site their dams, in the EIS, conveniently, it all appears as insignificant. Do they still insist on cheating themselves? Or they are playing?
 
I would also be remiss not to mention the sad chapter of the dead and missing on the CuervoRiver from just over a year ago. They are not going to tell us that they had nothing to do with it? Not to mention their remarkable corrupting efforts with authorities and the community.
 
As for the map to establish which areas are suitable for power plants and which are the areas that should forever be protected as a nature sanctuary; according to existing land-use policies, the Cuervo River project intersects with a shoreline zoned for tourism, aquaculture and the preservation of the Cinco Hermanos Natural Monument, which is located about 12 kilometers. While on land, the land-use plan, their appears a strange zoning allowing a mining project  (a hydroelectric project is a mine?) and also forestry, tourism and environmental fragility. About fragility, in this area are 48 species of flora and fauna in various conservation categories and five endemic, native species, among them some endangered species like the huillín and Darwin frog. As well, in both the baseline of the EIS as well as in the observations of the public services which have reviewed the EIS, there is a consensus about the great environmental value and pristine qualities of the area. Unfortunately, despite its exceptional natural values, apart from the Cinco Hermanos National Monument, there is no other effective protection with legal weight. And that is probably because a large part of this area is unknown and unexplored. What we know, from the edges of the area and seen from the air, we can say that the landscape of the sector of Yulton, Meullin and Lagunas Caiquenes lakes,  and the Maca, Cay, Yulton and Meullin volcanoes, and Cuervo River, is one of the most valuable we have ever seen. And of course, it deserves protection for future generations, rather than destruction and permitting its irreversible loss. 
 
Photo courtesy of Foroenergias
 

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