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Letpadaung Mine Study Warns of Water Poisoning by Acid, Metals

17 March 2014

Waste rock produced by the massive Chinese-backed Letpadaung copper mine in Sagaing Division could create serious environmental impacts in the long-term as acid and metals could leak into water sources, according to an Environmental Social Impact Assessment of the project, which was published by Eleven Media. The study by Knight Piésold Consulting said approximately 1 billion tons of waste would be generated during the mine’s 30 years of operation. Tests of the waste rock “indicated that 71 percent of samples tested were potentially acid forming […] approximately 18 percent had the potential to leach metals to levels beyond water quality limits,” the study warned.