Rio Colorado - Potasio (Mendoza, Argentina)


El proyecto propone el uso del metodo de mineria por disolucion para traer el mineral a la superficie desde las capas de cloruro de potasio ubicadas a un kilometro por debajo.

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Basic Data
NameRio Colorado - Potasio (Mendoza, Argentina)
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Water access rights and entitlements
Mineral ore exploration
Mineral processing
Specific CommoditiesPotasio
Project Details and Actors
Project Detailsel mineral se encuentra entre los 1000 y 1200 metros de profundidad.

consumo 86,4 millones de litros de agua diarios (1 m3 por segundo) vida util 30 años 1 millon de m3 de gas por dia se espera extraer 100 millones ton a lo largo de 40 o 50 años facturacion total US$ 70.000 millones 4,3 millones ton/año de potasio U$S 5.900 millones
Level of Investment (in USD)6000000000
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date2006
Company Names or State EnterprisesPRC Potasio Rio Colorado SA from Argentina - sociedad subsidiaria argentina del Grupo anglo-australiano Rio Tinto
Rio Tinto Alcan (Rio Tinto) from Spain
Vale S.A. (Vale) from Brazil - formerly named Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (Brazil)
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersAsamblea Popular por el Agua Pura, Mines and Communities, Atingidos pela Vale (world movement,
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Industrial workers
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Trade unions
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Boycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Development of a network/collective action
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Shareholder/financial activism.
Street protest/marches
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Desertification/Drought, Food insecurity (crop damage), Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsVisible: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Potential: Accidents, Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution, Occupational disease and accidents
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Militarization and increased police presence
Potential: Displacement, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Project StatusUnder construction
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseInstitutional changes
Application of existing regulations
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.La fuerte oposicion que se ha producido a consecuencia del proyecto no logró parar el avance pero en 2013-14 la Vale está por abandonarlo o venderlo. El gobernador de Mendoza Paco Perez continua apoyando el proyecto (de 6 mil millones de dolares).
Sources and Materials

Ley 20.284 sobre Preservacion del aire y contaminacion atmosferica
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Ley 25.688 Rgimen de Gestin Ambiental de Aguas
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Senado de Mendoza aprob ley 7775
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Folleto publicitario de Potasio Rio Colorado SA
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Entrevista a Marcelo Giraud, La mina de potasio Rio Colorado,
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Observatorio de Conflictos Mineros de America Latina OCMAL


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Media Links

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Meta Information
ContributorPatricio Chávez
Last update17/04/2018