28 April 1998
Toxic waste devastation for Spanish farmers

SPANISH farmers have lost an estimated Pta2 billion (£7.8bn) of crops because of a toxic waste spill from the Aznalcollar mine reservoir in the south of the country.

Waste from the mine – owned by Swedish-Canadian group Boliden – seeped into the Guadiamar and Guadalquivir rivers and into the Gulf of Cadiz. The leak was caused by a shifting layer of ground beneath the reservoir, which broke its banks.

The waste contains residues of zinc, lead, calcium and other metals. One tomato farmer said he had been ruined after a 20-mile trail of destruction damaged thousands of acres of crops.

  • Financial Times 28/04/98 page 3, page 37
  • The Scotsman 28/04/98 page 12