In a statement, WWF alleged a "lack of commitment" on the part of the mining industry to tackle the problems of abandoned mines or to help in the compilation of a Europe-wide inventory of existing and abandoned mine waste storage sites. It further accused the industry of "clinging to old methods" for constructing mine waste lagoons. New plans for gold mines in Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia "appear to be going ahead without improved environmental standards" despite the January's Baia Mare cyanide leak in Romania (ENDS Daily 10 February), the group added.
Listing its priorities for industry action, WWF called for adoption of risk assessments at all sites, action plans for preventing spills and cleaning up existing environmental damage, emergency plans for disasters, and publicly accountable international standards for mine closure. The group made similar demands shortly after the Baia Mare spill (ENDS Daily 22 February).
WWF European Policy Office, tel: +32 2 743 8800.
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