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Peru's national water authority ANA has proposed measures to prevent informal mining in Madre de Dios to help restore the quality of water resources in the region.
The water authority will no longer authorize the installation of equipment or any mining-related activities in the region. Both ANA and local water authorities can impose penalties for those caught in violation of the rule, according to an ANA release.
The measure is part of an urgent decree declaring it of national interest to regulate informal mining in Madre de Dios, where gold mining has been prohibited.
ANA head Carlos Pagador Moya condemned illegal miners for causing significant environmental damage to Madre de Dios' water resources, as the mercury used by illegal gold miners is highly toxic.
Most of the mining activity in Madre de Dios is unregulated. Informal mining produces approximately 20t of gold each year in Peru, with about 80% coming from Madre de Dios.