The Trust has been monitoring closely the events in Anosy region following the QMM mine tailings dam failures at Mandena in February and March, and the appearance of dead fish in the lake following the second overspill incident and an “exceptional” release of QMM mine process water.
Dr Swanson, who carried out an independent radioactivity review of QMM mine in 2019, has reviewed the available data, from recent sampling as well as from a previous study when similar events occurred (dead fish in the lake following a QMM overflow in 2018 ), and produced a Memo to explain the probable cause of fish deaths:
SEE SWANSON MEMO ON FISH DEATHS – Cause of Fish Kills After QMM Water Releases
“The combination of acidic water and elevated aluminium in the water released from the QMM site is the most probable connection between the water releases and the fish kills observed after those releases.” Swanson Memo, 20 April 2022
Although water testing was carried out by the authorities shortly after the dead fish appeared in Lake Ambavarano, the first reports were unable to deliver a satisfactory explanation for the fish deaths, according to Dr Swanson.
While investigations are ongoing, the Governor of Anosy has imposed a fishing ban, which is exacerbating hardships and losses that fisherfolk have experienced since the arrival of the mine.
According to an announcement made locally, the state plans to construct its own laboratory in Anosy to assist water monitoring exercises. Meanwhile, Dr Swanson has provided a Memo to suggest actions that could assist those monitoring the immediate situation.
SEE SWANSON MEMO ON : Near Term Actions Regarding the QMM Release
We are releasing this information to assist local communities, civil society and Malagasy stakeholders to engage in an informed and meaningful way on these issues, and to support current and future monitoring exercises.
The Trust encourages open and transparent sharing of data and debate and supports Malagasy civil society in its role to promote and protect citizen’s rights to information and freedom of speech.
For further information about Aluminium see HERE
For further information and studies, visit the main website of the Andrew Lees Trust HERE