LIMA, Peru (AP) — Peru's environment minister says the government has fined the owners of one of the world's largest zinc and copper mines $77,000 for a toxic slurry spill last year that sickened dozens of villagers.
Minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal tells The Associated Press that the Antamina consortium was fined for infractions that included a delay in alerting authorities. Immediately after the July 25 spill, he had called for the maximum penalty of $13 million.
Pulgar-Vidal says that under standards set since the spill, Antamina would have faced a higher fine. The new rules set a maximum fine of $41 million for a single incident of environmental contamination.
Antamina's owners are BHP Billiton, Glencore-Xstrata, Teck Cominco and Mitsubishi Corp.
The slurry caused nosebleeds, nausea, blurred vision and headaches. Some villagers complain of recurring symptoms.