November 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog, Press

The citizens of Baja California Sur oppose the open pit gold mine know as Paredones Amarillas located in the Municipality of La Paz. This blog is dedicated to providing information about the dangers this project will pose to our community. We are prompted to act by the continuing efforts of parent company Vista Gold in their ongoing public relations initiative to convince the Mexican Government that the open pit Gold Mine known as Paradones Amarillas is environmentally benign, and that it is socially and economically desirable for them to allow an open pit gold mine in the midst of the pristine Sierra de la Laguna biosphere.

Water vs. 3700 tons of Arsenic

Sierra de la Laguna Gold Mine

The Impact of Arsenic

Left: The hands and feet of arsenic poisoning
Clean Water is more precious than gold!

Vista Gold mining company is proposing to excavate a large open pit gold mine in the Paradones Amarillas area of the Sierra de la Laguna Biosphere. The mining site is located west of El Triunfo in the sierra above the Carrizal agricultural zone.

While there are many reasons to oppose this mining project, the most important is the risk of arsenic contamination in our aquifers. The mine will take out 37 tons of gold, but also bring to the surface 3700 tons of arsenic. With every hurricane or heavy rain this exposed arsenic will leach into the aquifers for generations.

These are some of the other impacts we are concerned with:

– Pollution of underground water supplies, derived from the infiltration of chemicals used during the gold production process, mainly lead, arsenic and cyanide. This type of pollution is always dangerous, and it is even more so in a region like this one, where water is so scarce.

– The impacts that this pollution would have on productive activities throughout the region, including agriculture, livestock and tourism.

– The impacts of mining activity on the Sierra de la Laguna Biosphere Reserve, one of the most important ecosystems in the state and in the whole country. It is troubling to see how close the proposed mine is to the core area of the Reserve.

– Social impacts normally associated with gold mining on all the towns and communities located within the project’s influence area, including the cities of La Paz and Todos Santos.

– The lack of a comprehensive closure plan and insufficient financial means to guarantee full closure and post-closure care.


For more information about the dangers of Open Pit Gold Mining please see a month long series of articles about gold mining that was published by the New York times here. Also see www.nodirtygold.org a series of articles and web sites you can visit for more information on open pit gold mines.

We oppose the mine. Please visit www.vistagoldno.com for more information as to how you can get involved.

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Welcome to the website for CalyCanto, offering Todos Santos vacation rentals and information about the area. We operate a boutique community, currently consisting of 3 casitas in Todos Santos, each with ocean views, about 2.5 miles from the town center, on the way La Pastura, a world class surf break. We at CalyCanto are passionate about eco-friendly travel that provides us with succulent surfing, pristine beach combing, intimate restaurants, exotic bird watching, super special sunsets, horseback riding on the beach, local tours and activities that support the local community. We believe in causing the least harm (approaching zero) while doing business. Environmentalism, sustainability and a commitment to protecting the natural environment through activism are part of our mission as we work to continually reduce our carbon footprint. We hope you'll follow our adventure here, on Twitter and on Facebook while you enjoy your coffee (or tea) or drink a Pacifico (if you've already made it here). If the tequila gets passed around the table too much, gringos might try and spell CalyCanto like calicanto, calecanto, or cal y canto. However you spell it, you are always welcome at Calycanto Casitas. Thank you for visiting.