Canadian Mining Journal

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ENVIRONMENT – Argentina lays criminal charges against Alumbrera

For the first time in Latin America, criminal charges have been laid against a mining company for crimes against th...



For the first time in Latin America, criminal charges have been laid against a mining company for crimes against the environment. On June 6, 2008, the Federal Chambers of Tucuman brought charges of environmental contamination against Julian Rooney, VP of Bajo La Alumbrera. He was not jailed, but his possessions were impounded.The Alumbrera copper-gold mine is owned by Swiss giant XSTRATA COPPER (50% and operator), Vancouver-based GOLDCORP (37.5%) and Toronto’s YAMANA GOLD (12.5%). Needless to say, they will be appealing the ruling.Alumbrera is the largest, oldest and most profitable open pit mine in Argentina. Located in the northwest province of Catamarca, Alumbrera moves 120 million tonnes/year of earth to produce an average of 160,000 t of copper, 600,000 oz of gold and other metals in concentrates.The case was filed in 1998 when citizen groups and the provincial secretary of the environment charged that Alumbrera was discharging liquids containing heavy metals, cyanide and mercury into a canal used by farmers and livestock.Detailed information about the Alumbrera mine is posted at www.Goldcorp.com.


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