This conflict is the first by lithium mining that occurs outside the area known as the "lithium triangle", which covers regions of Argentina-Chile-Bolivia. Unlike the rest of the conflicts by lithium in Argentina, located in the northwest of the country, San Francisco del Monte de Oro is located in the province of San Luis, 100 kilometers from the provincial capital. It has approximately 3 thousand inhabitants who, traditionally, developed agricultural activities on an almost virgin scenario, surrounded by saws, mountains, a lush flora and a diverse fauna that includes from wild boar to condors. The landscape is completed with five caudal rivers that constitute the water reserve, which feeds nature point and turned the site into an emerging tourist destination (Esteban, 2018). It is a region that already had mining activity, abandoned a few decades ago.
In September 2017 the company Latin Resources, which has mining concessions in San Luis, disseminated The results of a geological mapping and sampling of the Gemini mine, according to which he had found high concentrations of lithium in rock. La Mina Gemini, 12 hectares, is located within the Don Gregorio Concessions area at the Sierra Grande de San Luís, just 8 km from the town of San Francisco del Monte de Oro. Faced with this finding, a group of neighbors has expressed his opposition to the project. The own deliberative council (Municipal Legislative Power) of San Francisco has expressed its rejection of this type of mining, but since the Gemini Mine is outside the Ejido, the exploitation could also be carried out (group of studies in geopolitics and natural goods, 2018).
This deliberant council approved in 2016 an ordinance that establishes the prohibition of mining, storage and transportation of contaminant substances. Faced with the announcement of the potential exploitation of lithium, neighbors of the town of San Francisco del Monte de Oro, and the Paraje Río Juan Gómez, began to be mobilized and to request technical reports to specialists and scientists in the area (Esteban, 2018). His concern is that the project contaminates water sources, affects the protected natural area and damages the ecosystem of central saws. In addition, they denounce that the company made exploration without the corresponding permits, opening a path that has already generated negative impacts. They emphasize that the Government denies official information about the progress of the project. They meet meetings in public spaces, in order to disseminate information on the subject and plan activities, such as route cuts and request for signatures in support of a petitioner directed to the governor of San Luis, to suspend mining concessions.
The company claimed to have carried out a "community peace treaty" with the neighbors of the town, but these deny it. As an a history of mining conflict, the assembly "I love my saws" had been mobilized against a mining project of the company Olmos and Roldán, which was slowed down not to comply with environmental legislation.