The Pascua Lama project is very real! A multinational wants to move a glacier in order to quench its thirst for gold!
At a time when water begins to become a serious problem on our planet, the gold company proposes, nothing more and nothing less, than to move a glacier in order to be able to exploit in peace the gold mine which is located below. And this, despite the tens of thousands of Chileans living, in large part, on the water provided by the glacier.
Of course, Barrick Gold Corp took care to surround himself with "specialists" on the issue.
It therefore offers an acceptable “environmental” alternative. Indeed, in order not to waste an inestimable amount of water, there are plans to cut up huge parts of the glacier and then move them close to another glacier in which the blocks are supposed to merge.
In addition, it will be convenient to divert the river supplying the populations downstream, and to install a water treatment plant, just to continue to provide the natives with "unpolluted" water.
If the measures envisaged seem quite honorable on paper, these solutions are not at all to the taste of certain experts who believe that 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 water tables, nor the way in which the “amputated” glacier will react. In addition, planning to clean up (for consumption) a river consciously contaminated by various toxic substances (arsenic and heavy metals in particular) can be at high risk in the event of any malfunction.
If this project is supposed to provide its first nuggets in 2009, the Chilean and Argentinian authorizations (the mine is located at the border) have already issued the operating agreements, the site to be started from the first quarter of 2006. Also, it is not surprising that several environmental organizations wish to draw the world's attention to this potential ecological disaster.