Desalination plant needed for Mexican mine

Denver-based Vista Gold Corp is planning to build a desalination plant to meet the needs of its planned Concordia mine in Baja California Sur, Mexico.

Vista is trying to get regulatory approval for an open-pit mine in Baja’s Sierra la Laguna mountain range, courting controversy because it is a United Nations biosphere reserve.

The UN says Sierra la Laguna is important because of its freshwater supply, used long distances to the south, and because its water basin drains into sea areas important for turtles and whales.

The Toronto Sun reports that Vista has said that it plans to construct a desalination plant to meet its water needs without compromising the quality and supply of water for local communities. Open-pit mines can lead to a runoff of cyanide, an agent used to treat gold that threatens drinking water and wildlife.

After the 10-year life of the mine, the desalination plant could become a long-term, fresh water source, Vista said.