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News > Argentina

Argentineans Oppose Open-Pit Mining Project in Chubut

  • Citizens mobilize against mining project, Chubut, Argentina, Jan. 26, 2021.

    Citizens mobilize against mining project, Chubut, Argentina, Jan. 26, 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @radio3trelew

Published 29 January 2021

Led by the transnational company Panamerican Silver, the "Navidad" project seeks to extract silver, lead, and copper.

Environmental activists, scientists, educators, and health workers mobilized in Argentina to reject a mining project in the Chubut province, highlighting that the "mega-mining" industry would not solve the socio-economic crisis in the area.


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On Jan. 26, citizens published a letter outlining their social, scientific, and environmental arguments for rejecting the PL128/20 project which seeks to initiate open-pit mining activities in the Chubut plateau's north-central region.

This project is also opposed by Indigenous communities, religious leaders, and institutions such as Patagonia's San Juan Bosco National University and the Agricultural Technology National Institute.

"The expression 'sustainable mining' is fallacious, since such description cannot be applied to an activity that uses explosives to detonate millions of tons of earth, uses polluting chemicals, demands millions of liters of drinking water, pollutes the air, causes irreversible changes in the ecosystem and society", residents stressed.

The meme reads, "And Chubut again in the streets. This is Trelew where thousands of Chubut people mobilized in a short notice call to defend their territory against the onslaught of mega-mining."

The mining project puts at risk basins with very low water flow, especially in the Chubut River where the average annual water production is expected to decrease by 30 to 40 percent due to climate change.

In Nov. 2020, Chubut's Governor Mariano Arcioni presented the "Navidad" project, which is an initiative led by the transnational company Panamerican Silver that seeks to extract silver, lead, and copper.

Previously,  in June, residents collected over 30,000 signatures to prohibit by law "mega-mining" in the whole province.

"It is essential to inform the people about the project's pros and cons... There is no other way to have the social approval," Mining Workers Association General Secretary Hector Laplace said.

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