Concessioning a town

I’ve heard combivent without prescription. of mining companies doing some brazen, awful things in Latin America, but this might take the cake. The concessions granted to Australian mining company BHP Billiton near the controversial Agua Rica mine in Argentina give it the right to expropriate the town of AndalgalA? itself for metal extraction.

From the official document, via PA?gina/12:

ai???The mining area includes the city of AndalgalA?, a situation that is normal since, according to the Mining Code, two properties – both the mine and the surface property – can coexist. In this case, the mine’s purpose is prospecting and exploration, and in the event that it begins extraction, the corresponding compensation must be provided and the greatest public interest must be considered, giving priority to development.”

I’m not a natural resources attorney, but this sounds like a green light to expropriate the town for the greater good, and that’s how the residents of the 17,000-person town are taking it as well. AndalgalA? was founded in 1658. Mining in the region first started in 1994, with Yamana’s Alumbrera project. In 2004 that company opened its Agua Rica mine 17 kilometers from AndalgalA?. It was recently met with violent protests:

If that’s how these people respond to a mining project 17 km away, good luck trying to kick them out of their houses.

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  1. otto
    Posted April 4, 2010 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    This is what happens when you jump into a subject that you don’t understand and don’t bother to research what’s really going on.

    The world knows I’m the first person to jump in and defend locals against illegal and immoral activities from mining companies, but this time there’s a helluva lot more to the story than the anti-mining brigade would like you to believe. Just as two points of many:

    Both you and Pagina 12 don’t know how the concessioning system works in Argentina, or if either of you do you’re deliberately concealing the whole truth

    Both you and Pagina 12 either don’t know or aren’t reporting that the town of Andalgalá is overwhelmingly pro-mining, as witnessed by reent marches through the town by the vast majority of its residents compalining about anti-mining marches in the town done by people shipped in from out of town.

    I’m not going to go on about this issue any longer. If you want to do something about intrusive miners, better look at what’s going on in the Cenepa region of Peru, the Amazon Basin of Ecuador, the first growth areas of Panamá, the death squads hired by miners in El Salvador at arms length to terrorize local into submission or environmental protests in northern Mexico that are protecting national reserves with fragile ecosystems from having open pit mines located yeards away from their borders. All these cases and more have very good reason to reject mining activitry and i hope they win out. But choosing Andagalá as your parfum du jour in the anti-mining stakes just because a centre-left newspaper in Buenos Aires is wringing its hands about a phantom menace is a really bad call.

  2. Peter Krupa
    Posted April 4, 2010 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    So, the mining company DOESN’T have a concession over the town? Or the townspeople just don’t care that they do?

    • otto
      Posted April 4, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      you’re the one blogging the subject, go find out for yourself. Or is that too much of a compromise?

  3. Peter Krupa
    Posted April 4, 2010 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    yeah, hold on, let me go make a few phone calls…

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