Aznalcollar mine spill fine contested

Mining company insists that legal responsibility should lie with tailing dam builders

The Spanish government's decision on Friday to impose sanctions of €45m in fines and compensation on mining firm Boliden for the 1998 Aznalcollar dam burst disaster has been rejected by the Swedish-Canadian multinational.

In a statement Boliden based its refusal to accept responsibility on the conclusions of an aborted criminal investigation. This blamed failures in the design of the mine tailings pond for the disaster, in which 5m tonnes of toxic mining waste spewed into the area in and around the Doñana nature reserve (EED 08/01/01).

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