The Cambior cyanide disaster in Guyana was a “preventable accident,” according to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency document deposed at Quebec Superior Court.

Cambior has demanded a permanent injunction against a Montreal group that is helping the thousands of mostly Native victims of the mass cyanide spill.

In its defense, the group Recherches internationales du Quebec filed the EPA report. The EPA sent observers to Guyana in South America after the 1995 spill of three billion litres of cyanide-laced sludge into an Amazon river network.

“The rupture of the dyke could have been foreseen, if not avoided,” wrote the EPA agents,adding: “Since the mine has been open, the vast majority of the work has gone into extraction of theminerals and only a minimal effort went into environmental protection.”