Imprints of the mines

Mining has lasting negative impacts on ecosystem and human health.

FIAES financed research to determine the level of contamination around mines that have been abandoned for over 50 years in northeastern El Salvador. The research is aimed at the development of recommendations for the safe and technical closure of the mines.

A complete inventory of mine sites was necessary to establish mitigation measures. The inventories consisted of geographic location, visible and nonvisible risks and impact factors. The investigation was conducted by a multidisciplined team integrated by biologists, geologists and hydrologists that took water, sediment and waste samples from 50 abandoned mine sites in the departments of La Unión, San Miguel and Morazán.

The final report regarding the current condition of the mines was coordinated by the Fundación Maquilishuat with the consultant team and the Ministry of Economy’s Division of Hydrocarbons and Mines. FIAES provided $100,000 for the realization of the study and the Ministry of Economy provided an additional $25,000.

The realization of this project opens a pathway so that El Salvador can responsibly address the technical closure of abandoned mines so that these do not continue to negatively affect the environment.