The Situation Of The Argentina Mega-miningWednesday 25th of January 2012 06:24:04 PM
When we talk about mining we refer to all activities relating to the discovery and extraction of minerals found beneath the surface of the Earth. The same can be metallic (such as copper, iron, aluminum, manganese, lead, zinc, gold, copper, among others), non-metallic (asbestos, gravel, limestone, etc.) or energy, like coal and oil.
Argentina has a large amount of mineral resources, concentrated mostly in areas close to the Cordillera de Los Andes. This, coupled with a regulatory framework that allows it, makes that in recent years our country is constitutes as an ideal territory that flows of foreign capital invested in this activity and exploit to the maximum available on the national soil resources.
of a hundred projects expected to be approved to begin operations in various areas of the country.He said:
Currently, the country is occupied by 74 mining megacorporations, most of which are Canadian and British. Some of the projects that take place are: Veladero, Pachón, Gualcamayo and Pascua Lama in the province of San Juan; Alumbrera and water rich in Catamarca; San Jose, Martha mine and spring mirror in Santa Cruz; Pirquitas in Jujuy; Sierra Grande in Río Negro and potassium Colorado River in Mendoza. There is also a list of more
In most cases, the companies are responsible for the exploration and exploitation of ores, gold, silver and copper to be priority. The steps include looking for mineral deposit - stage known as "cateo" and where "geological anomalies" are located in the Earth's crust-, to then carry out exploration and define the profile of the site. Later occurs the exploitation of mines and the treatment of the obtained mineral to transform them into marketable products.
While the development of all this activity entails a completely negative environmental and social impact for the communities of the area and the country as a whole, laws since the 1990s helped each time they were more companies interested in investing their capitals, recording over the past 15 years a significant increase in projects in this sector.
Since 1886 there is the code of mining (CM), responsible for establishing systems of domain with respect to the mineral substances and determine how is acquired, how it is kept and is lost as the right to exploit the deposits. Document was the subject of numerous reforms, being the last and most important the laws 24.498 (update mining) and 24.585 (environmental protection), both from 1995. While the first refers to application and concessions of exploitation, the second provides the regulatory framework designed to reduce the consequences arising for the environment the development of this activity. The 24.585 law establishes that those responsible for the project must submit a report of environmental impact, then it must be evaluated and approved by the relevant authority, updating the statement on a biannual basis.
During the Presidency of Carlos Saúl Menem (1989-1999), appeared a number of laws connected with the exercise of this activity and are those that are still current. Thus, law No. 24.196 arose in order to generate the "right conditions" to make attractive capital for investment risk in the field of mining. In this way it encourages both national capitals as foreign income, considering that "due to its characteristics and extension, our territory offers a wide and varied range of mineral resources unexploited, fit to sustain a level of development of the sector that take it to become one of the greatest relevance".
The present legal provisions currently promoting mining activity in the country but the big beneficiaries are foreign capital, continuing, in most cases, the provinces impoverished beyond the development of this activity. The companies operate to extract everything possible, then leaving irreversible environmental consequences in the area of operation.
With the only having has the process by which is carried out exploration and mining is possible to reach the conclusion that their environmental impact is extremely negative both for the surrounding towns the environment as a whole. To obtain the minerals are blasting of mountains with explosives which long tons of toxic waste into the air. Then using to separate gold from rock, to per day that need thousands of litres of water after being contaminated with toxic and heavy metals, is deposited in piletones ending mixed with rivers, streams, and aquifers.
This impact on water resources, coupled with the air pollution, has very serious effects on the ecosystems of the area and people's lives. Respiratory diseases, malformations, hearing injury and greater likelihood of developing cancer are some of the many consequences that people are exposed every day.
This situation led in different parts of the country many institutions, NGOs and individuals speak out against the development of this activity. This is the case of the residents of San Juan with the proposed Pascua Lama of the Barrick Gold or Catamarca to denounce pollution generated by the Alumbrera project and resist the initiative water Rica.
Before the claims and complaints, companies manifest themselves comply with the requirements and environmental standards present in the correspondingframework regulatory, so have plans to continue operating in the country for a long time.
Types of mining: the traditional and mega open pit mining
Primer Impacto: The depletion of the sources of water, which is presentfrom exploration.
Second impact:Dust in suspension, which generates major conflicts with bronco lung diseases, rain of Earth, etc.
Third impact: Damage to the environment, generating a negative in the landscape visual image
Fourth impact: Bioaccumulation of mercury and use of degradation products which are very toxic for the aquatic fauna and also add effects to the drainage more acid.
Fifth impact: Formation of sulphuric acid by the chemicals used in the dissolution of rocks which, in turn, dragging heavy towards the flora and fauna, metals and can then pass to man and causing damage irreparable, as in the area of the mine Angela that animals possessed a percentage of cadmium in your body (one of the minerals present in the rocks that generates the mining)
Documentaries and videos about open pit mining:
Mining that destroys (excellent report by Telefe on mega mining in Santa Cruz and other parts of the country)
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