I am neither against mining, nor an environmentalist, but find Donald Leung’s Aug. 20 letter to the editor simplistic and uninformed at best.
First, there were not a few thousand litres of water spilt. There were allegedly 10 million cubic metres (that’s 10 billion litres) and another four billion litres of slurry that flowed downstream.
Second, if the sludge in the tailing ponds of mines were safe for the environment, there would be little reason to have regulations in place to curtail and contain such. Of course the minerals and metals in the sludge occur in nature, but not in the same density and composition as in a tailings pond.
However, what really struck me about Mr. Leung’s opinion piece was his statement “In a year natural vegetation re-growth will render the incident almost undetectable.” What was wiped out by the mass of water and slurry was not a bamboo field.
If he believes that the trees, many of them of mature growth, will grow back in a year, I would encourage Mr. Leung to visit the affected area next year so he can see for himself that the trees may not grow back within his lifetime.
Coupled with his statement “it’s not unlike any other naturally occurring mud slide,” Mr. Leung not only shows disrespect to the residents of the affected areas but invariably leads one to question what his real motives are. Many similar letters from Mr. Leung have appeared in various publications, all the way to Quebec. Furthermore, he has written a number of letters advocating strong support for the mining industry, in one article even going as far as to suggest pouring government money into mining instead of training more teachers (Royal City Record May 20).
In yet another letter, published March 11 in the “Province,” in his reaction to “New Prosperity” being denied an operating permit, Mr. Leung states: “Every possible environmental precaution is in place. There is no reason on earth to say no to it.” Oh, really?
Mr. Leung’s incessant effort to promote mining, with complete disregard for the environment, evokes the question as to which special interest group is he associated with?