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Spain: US mining exec, 2 others fined for water pollution

Posted September 22

— A Spanish court has convicted and fined an American mining company executive and two other people for environmental offences committed by a Spanish copper mining firm.

The southern Seville court said Thursday that Bill Williams, former water director at the Cobre Las Cruces open pit mine, and two others, had been fined 2,700 euros ($3,000) each for mismanaging and polluting a public drinking water aquifer with arsenic from 2005 to 2008.

They were also given one-year suspended prison sentences. The company was ordered to pay almost 300,000 euros ($337,000) compensation. The Sept. 12 trial and verdict ended an eight-year battle by Spanish environmental group Ecologists in Action.

Williams is president of the Florida-based Gogebic Taconite iron mining company.

The Spanish company's environmental director and a former CEO were also convicted.

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