DBPapers
DOI: 10.5593/SGEM2015/B13/S3.100

“AURUL” ACCIDENT HIGHLIGHTS CYANIDE UTILIZATION IN MINING INDUSTRY. AFTER FIFTEEN YEARS CONSEQUENCES…

S. Duma, I. Bud, D. Gusat, I.I. Pasca, A. Bud
Friday 7 August 2015 by Libadmin2015

References: 15th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference SGEM 2015, www.sgem.org, SGEM2015 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7105-33-9 / ISSN 1314-2704, June 18-24, 2015, Book1 Vol. 3, 767-774 pp

ABSTRACT
15 years after the Aurul accident, its ghosts haunt yet, generating dramatic economic consequences for Baia Mare and Romania. With a minimum of technical responsibility of those involved, this accident may not occur. The timing was bad and the extent of the media has reached unprecedented level in the history of mining accidents, analyzing the report damages - consequences. Any tone given by various characters was taken and amplified dramatically till irresponsibility. The accident was classified as „the biggest environmental catastrophe after Chernobyl" and this fact has triggered hysteria in media and has poisoned the image of Baia Mare and Romania.
The international media has taken, immediately after the accident, from the Hungarian news, the idea of a serious accident, disaster, going to compare it with Chernobyl. This situation triggered a chain reaction whose effects are felt in today: publicly available information which continues to compare Aurul accident with Chernobyl, hostile reactions concerning any mining project etc. "Aurul" accident is classified among the largest environmental accidents, while accidents of mining waste deposits with casualties and significant material losses not appear: accident in Bulgaria, Sgorigrad (1966) with 488 deaths and incalculable damage; Stava accident in Italy (1985) with 268 deaths and property damage estimated at 155 million euro; Chile (1965) with over 200 dead persons; England (1966) with 144 victims of which 116 children in a school premises; USA, Virginia (1972) 125 victims and 4,000 families left homeless, the damage being estimated at 62 million dollars; Romania, Certej - Săcărâmb (1971) with 99 deaths. This list can go on with many accidents in the world, in mining domain.
This presentation in media and literature proves the excessive nature of the claims, the lack of accountability of the effects that they can have on public opinion and, often, the lack of an engineering backgrounds of those who express these views.
Regarding the „Aurul” accident, there are countless intriguing aspects:
- Why in Romania where cyanide concentration was high, the number of dead fish was very small, and in Hungary, where the phenomenon of dilution decreased cyanide concentration, the dead fish are thousands of tons?
- Why today, in the documents available online, it exist the information that at the exit of Romania, on the river Somes, cyanide content was 7.6 mg / l and at the entry into Hungary (Csenger) - at close distances – the cyanide content is declared by 32.6 mg / l.
Perpetual invoking of „Aurul” accident and consistency in exaggerations, blocks economic and environmental initiatives, deterring other current or potential investors and lead them to focus investment and attention to other areas. Objective presentation of the facts shapes public opinion and understanding, by this, the advantages of an industrial project and the importance of taking responsibility for the risks it entails.
The interest the last fifteen years retrospective is to analyze - as objective as possible - the real effects and consequences of the accident in 2000 compared to those presented by the mass media, NGOs , various political or administrative structures, which have tended to exaggerate and have conveyed strong emotional impact messages with severe consequences in obstructing mining projects .

Keywords: Baia Mare accident 2000, “Aurul” tailing dam, environmental catastrophe, public opinion, objective retrospective

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