Request for Help in Guyana

Robert Johnson (johnsorl@COLORADO.EDU)
Wed, 23 Aug 1995 03:36:21 -0600

Originally From:
Originally To: INFOTERRA

Please respond directly to

Hi -
I am not sure if you have already heard but a major cyanide spill
has just occurred in Guyana. The holding pond at the OMAI Gold
Mine, (owned by an American Company, Omai) has just cracked. The
holding ponds apparently holds about 30 million gallons of mine
effluents, tailings, etc. The effluent containing Cyanide and
other mine tailings is leaking from the holdling pond into the
Omai river about 30 miles south of McKenzie, an area that is home
to numerous wildlife and some Amerindian populations. The Omai
river feeds into the Essequibo River which drains into the
Atlantic Ocean. There is already concern about the impact this
will have on the wildlife, the Amerindian communities and the
Guyanese people themselves. There is also concern that the
people are being led to believe that the rivers will become so
diluted (once the cyanide is carried further downstream) that it
will not affect the majority of the population. Somehow the
people seem to be getting a false sense of security as a result
of this. At the moment water is being flown in for neighboring

Much faster action is needed. It is not enough to simply send
pure water to the people. How can help be sent to Guyana to
clean up the contaminated grounds. Your advice and assistance
are of utmost urgence.Please respond to me as soon as possible.

S. Aggarwal