SANTO DOMINGO (AP):
One of the world's largest gold mining operations is about to open in the Dominican Republic, where the industry has a toxic legacy of pollution that stained rivers a searing red and failed to lift the fortunes of this largely poor country.
Abandoned 13 years ago by state-owned Rosario Dominicana, the Pueblo Viejo mine left behind an environmental mess and a cluster of depressed mountain towns.
Now, a joint venture by the world's two biggest gold companies, both of them Canadian, is launching a much larger operation at the site within weeks. Officials promise it will be radically different from the previous one, and will be managed to prevent environmental damage, in addition to underwriting the clean-up of past contamination and providing billions of dollars for the country, especially in the mining region in the forested mountains north of the capital.