October 22, 2008

Official: Swedish Mine Leaking Arsenic

A gold mine in the Swedish province of Vasterbotten has leaked nearly 15 gallons of arsenic into a fresh water depository, an environmental official says.

Robert Erixon, a Vasterbotten county board environmental protection official, said Dragon Mining has until Nov. 14 to create an acceptable plan to deal with the arsenic leak, The Local, a Stockholm newspaper, reported Wednesday.

"We take this matter very seriously," Erixon said of the leak, which exceeded current environmental regulations regarding arsenic levels in water supplies.

Dragon Mining Chief Executive Officer Karl-Erik Marttala acknowledged the presence of the leak and assured authorities his company was working to repair the problem.

The Local said the arsenic leak in northern Sweden did not reach surrounding areas such as the Paubacken basin and a nearby nature preserve.