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Home > Outline of Japan's Industrial Pollution Abatement > Preventative Measures Against Water Pollution Jinzu River, Toyama Prefecture > 3) Pollution from the Kamioka Mines

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Update:April 1, 2010

3) Pollution from the Kamioka Mines


Records show that, from 1700 to 1850, agricultural and drinking water were polluted by toxic waste water from the mines, indicating that pollution from mining existed before the Meiji Restoration, When the company modernized their management and added a rotary furnace in 1890, pollution from smoke got worse.
To calm complaints from amongst the local people, they introduced a toxic eliminator for removing lead found in dust, in 1893. Futhermore, in 1911, they built an ore flotation plant and increased productivity, discharging solid and liquid waste produced during benefication into the Takahara River, upstream of the Jinzu River. This discharge contained a large volume of harmful heavy metals.
As a result, heavy metals such as cadmium were deposited along the river bed and in the soil underlying rice patties. Pollution from mining that before had been limited to the Kamioka Mines in Gifu Prefecture, had now expanded into Toyama Prefecture.