The Pascua Lama project is real! A multinational wants to move a glacier in order to quench his thirst for gold!
At a time when the water starts to become a serious problem on our planet, the gold company proposes nothing less than to move a glacier to exploit safely the gold mine that is located below. Despite the tens of thousands of Chileans living, largely thanks to the water supplied by the glacier.
Of course, Barrick Gold Corp. has taken care to surround himself with "specialists" of the issue.
It therefore proposes an acceptable "environmental" alternative. Indeed, in order not to waste an invaluable amount of water, it is envisioned to cut out immense parts of the glacier and then move them close to another glacier in which the blocks are supposed to melt.
In addition, it will be easy to divert the river feeding downstream populations, and install a water treatment plant, to continue to water the indigenous people of "unpolluted" water.
If the planned measures seem quite decent on paper, these solutions do not taste at all of some experts saying it is not possible to predict the behavior of a glacier after human intervention.
No one can say that the ice thus displaced will continue to feed the groundwater, nor the way in which the "amputee" glacier will react. On the other hand, to depollate (for consumption purposes) a river conspicuously contaminated by various toxic substances (arsenic and heavy metals in particular) can prove to be high risks in case of any dysfunctioning.
If this project is expected to provide its first nuggets 2009, Chilean and Argentine authorities (the mine is located at the border) have already issued the operating agreements, the shipyard be started from the first quarter 2006. Also, is it not surprising that several environmental organizations wish to draw the world attention on the potential environmental disaster.