Cyanide Overflow Incident At The Baia Mare Gold Mine
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Cyanide overflow incident at the Baia Mare gold mine in Romania caused the death of hundreds tons of fish and other animals, contaminated a major European hydrological system (Anke, 2000), affected the environment, and endangered water supplies in Romania and neighbor countries (Kohl, 2000).
This study reviewed the causes and environmental impacts of the incident, major sources and the pathways of the cyanide contaminant. Moreover, it summarized the toxicological endpoints in animals and the interventions to control the disaster.
Baia Mare mine location and incident Figure 1: Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/olmedia/1145000/images/_1146979_rivers300.gif The Baia Mare gold mine is located in North Western of Romania, near major European hydrological system, nearby Lapus River, an affluent of the Somes River in Hungary, which is a Tisza River affluent. The Tisza River is a main affluent of the Danube River, which feeds the Black Sea after Crossing Serbia and edging Bulgaria in the south and South East of Romania (ME 2000-2008).
On January 30th, 2000 a 25 m length dam of cyanide waste from the Maia Mare gold mine, managed by Aurul, and was a joint-venture of the Esmeralda Exploration, an Australian mine company, and the Romanian government, overflowed and broke, releasing its pollutants nearby, in the Szamos Lapus River. The pollution extended to distances over 800 km into other rivers downstream in about 2 to 3 weeks, killing tons of fish,