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Ancasti mobilizes against lithium mining, Catamarca, Argentina

Opposition to lithium mining in Rock in Ancasti. Assemblies promote local productive alternatives and achieve the sanction of an ordinance that prohibits polluting extractive activities.

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The Sierra de Ancasti is located southwest of the province of Catamarca. Its highest part is located near the US 2000., Descending gently to the east, where it is reached until the Salinas area located in northern Córdoba and south of Santiago del Estero [4]. In the cubes covered by Pajonals, rainwater is absorbed that then drains into different slopes and streams that surround the Serrano landscape, surrounded by native forests, in which large number of animal species and wild vegetables coexist. The place stands out for its state of ecological conservation since at the moment there are not registering pollutant activities of great magnitude. The main economic activities are livestock, agriculture and tourism, which are part of a diversity of strategies that carry out the local inhabitants to guarantee their subsistence. We can also highlight the collection of wild fruits for the elaboration of scrap and sweets, quesillos and the manufacture of handicrafts, wool, ceramics and leather, as well as the production of honey and other hive derivatives. The maintenance of environmental conditions is fundamental for the continuity of such activities [1].

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Ancasti mobilizes against lithium mining, Catamarca, Argentina
State or province:Catamarca.
Location of conflict:Ancasti
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Mineral ore exploration
Specific commodities:Lithium
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The company has not submitted to date the Exploitation Environmental Impact Report, but on its website it presents some data from two areas with apparent mining potential in the province of Catamarca: Zona Ancasti and Villisman area.

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Project area:4,000
Level of Investment for the conflictive project650,000.
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:3,000-40,000
Start of the conflict:24/01/2017
Company names or state enterprises:Lake Resources. from Australia
Latin Resources Limited from Australia
Recursos Latinos S. A. from Argentina
Relevant government actors:Government of Catamarca, Ministry of Mining, Provincial management of mining environmental management.
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Assembly of Ancasti for life PU.C.A.R.A (Catamaric peoples in resistance and self-determination)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Potential: Groundwater pollution or depletion, Mine tailing spills, Fires, Global warming, Waste overflow, Food insecurity (crop damage), Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..), Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution, Occupational disease and accidents, Deaths
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Increase in violence and crime, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Militarization and increased police presence, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Specific impacts on women
Project StatusUnknown
Conflict outcome / response:Institutional changes
New legislation
Strengthening of participation
Project temporarily suspended
Proposal and development of alternatives:Impulse of agroecological projects by the Assembly of Ancasti X Life.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The project is temporarily detained but not because environmental justice has been done.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

[click to view]

Código de Mineria. Sanción Ley 1919. Ministerio de Justicia y Derechos Humanos. Presidencia de la Nación.
[click to view]

Ley Provincial de Catamarca nº5311 de bosque nativo.
[click to view]

Art. 41 de la Constitución Nacional.
[click to view]

Ordenanza 017/10 del Municipio de Ancasti “Área Protegida y municipio no tóxico”.
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[1] Habitantes de Ancasti: Seres, Naturalezas y Territorios. Luciana Fernández. Universidad Nacional de Catamarca.
[click to view]

[2] Litio: asambleístas de Catamarca alertan sobre los riesgos de su explotación. Angustina Carrasco. El Perfil. Primero de diciembre de 2020.
[click to view]

[3] Catarmarca. Pobladores se movilizan contra la explotación de dos yacimientos de litio. Gabriela Origlia. La Nación. 24 de febrero de 2021.
[click to view]

[4] Integra Capital y Latin Resources explotarán litio en roca en Catamarca. Apertura. Actualizado el 28 de octubre de 2020.
[click to view]

[5] Latin resources. Catamarca Lithium project
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Canal de YouTube de La Asamblea de Ancasti por la Vida.
[click to view]

Folleto de información sobre la Mega Minería de Ancasti.
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Leonardo Embon [email protected] Asamblea de Ancasti por la Vida y P.U.CA.R.A
Last update04/11/2021
Conflict ID:5688
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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