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KazZinc denied permission to dump arsenic wastes in East Kazakhstan

02 may 2013, 18:11
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Illustration by tengrinews.kz
Illustration by tengrinews.kz
All projects of long-term placement of arsenic wastes in Zyryanovsk region suggested by KazZinc have been turned down by the authorities with no prospects of further revision, KazTAG reports citing the source if East Kazakhstan Ecology Department.

“Several times the company submitted projects of disposal of arsenic and iron containing sludge, including the option for storing the paste and cement blocks in big bags in Maleyevka mine or dumping the wastes at Maleyevka treatment facilities. These projects were turned down and, in my view, there are no prospects of this decisions being reconsidered even if any adjustments are made in the projects,” the source said on Wednesday, May 1.

According to the speaker, despite of the fact that arsenic and iron containing sludge is considered succinic-level industrial wastes and in line with the Ecological Code of Kazakhstan it has to be dumped at the special 1st class sites, KazZinc tried to offer solutions with the use of existing infrastructure of Maleyevka mine. According to the expert, the company's projects were made without consideration of the wastes impact on the environment and the ground waters.

In particular, according to the expert, placement of wastes in the pits would cause accumulation of aggressive acid medium with a risk of contamination of water-bearing formations and spilling further into the Bukhtarma river.

“In our statement we listed 15 serious comments and recommendations related to technologies, regulations and forecasts. Of course, KazZinc would like to use Maleyevka for disposal of the arsenic wastes: it is cheaper than building a special dump. But we are talking about the fate of major rivers here and about the security of our people. It is doubtful that Kazakhstan nature-protection authorities will risk to approve these projects,” the speaker said.

To prove these words, the expert referred to the position of the state sanitary epidemiological control commission that turned down KazZinc’s project on construction of a unit for production of cement goods from arsenic wastes where it was intending to use the wastes for filling pit cavities in Maleyevka mine.

Besides, the speaker reminded that on April 22 the oblast department of state sanitary epidemiological control revoked its approval for Maleyevka project that had earlier been issued by Zyryanovsk regional authority.

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