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El Pachón copper mine, San Juan, Argentina

Big copper mining project in San Juan, Argentina, it was denounced for the possibility that its operation will impact on glaciers.

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The pale is a copper and molybdenum deposit located in the province of San Juan, Argentina. It is located between 3,600 to 4,200 meters above sea level, and is approximately five kilometers from the international limit with Chile. He is currently operated by Switzerland Glencore, who proposes to develop an open-pit mine to extract copper ore and process it by flotation. Before I had been owned by Xstrata. The closest community to El Pachón is Barreal, in the department of Calingasta, 170 km from the project.

Back are currently the comparisons that had been made with Easter- Lama, in volume of investment and by its characteristics of Binational Project, when it was planned that facilities for transport and filtering copper would be installed in the Coquimbo, Chile region. A few years ago, Xstrata Copper had raised exporting the concentrate via Chile, by a Pacific port, but in 2014 the GLENCORE company decided to reduce the scale and concentrate all the infrastructure in Argentina. Based on this re-evaluation of the project, Glencore has declared being working on the completion of the environmental impact report.

Between 2015 and 2016, it came to the Light the conflict between Pachón and Antofagasta Minerals (Luksic Group), which exploits the mine the slabs, on the Chilean side of the border limit. According to transcended in the media, Pachón denounced that Pelambre placed waste from his mining activity in Argentine territory, concessioned to Pachon, which could have caused environmental pollution. It would be 50 million tons of material on an area of ​​51 or 52 hectares, placed in Argentine territory by the mining that operates on the Chilean side. For his part, the skirts stated that he fulfilled all the requirements that the Chilean authorities demanded, and that had been pointed out that the Bootado was totally in Chilean territory. Finally, the province of San Juan intervened in the conflict, due to the environmental damage that could have caused the waste discharged.

In the growing socio-environmental conflict by megamineric projects in Argentina , In the first decade of the 21st century, Pachón was highlighted as one of the great projects that could be developed in the country, at first, by its binational character, assimilated it to Easter Lama. Even with the smallest scale, one of the largest projects in Argentina, of copper exploitation, deposit that was discovered by Minera Aguilar S.A company, in 1964, and since the 1970s is accumulating different attempts to exploitation that does not They have materialized. In addition, this project has been denounced by affecting glaciers.

Basic Data
Name of conflict:El Pachón copper mine, San Juan, Argentina
State or province:San Juan
Location of conflict:Barreal
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Mineral ore exploration
Tailings from mines
Specific commodities:Copper
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The project was re-defined, and Glencore projects to develop all its stages in Argentina, which would include the output of the product by an Argentine port, possibly in Santa Fe.

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Project area:26,430
Level of Investment for the conflictive project3,000,000,000.
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:3,500.
Start of the conflict:2006
Company names or state enterprises:Falconbridge from Canada
Noranda from Canada
Xtrata Copper from Switzerland
Glencore (GLEN) from Switzerland
ANTOFAGASTA MINERALS (Grupo Luksic) (ANTO) from Chile
Relevant government actors:Governor of San Juan. State of State of San Juan Federal Court of San Juan Minister of Mining of San Juan Government of Argentina Government of Chile Argentina Ministry of the Interior of Argentina
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Human Rights and Environmental Center (CEDHA) Union of citizen assemblies (UAC)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
Reaction stageLATENT (no visible resistance)
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Local government/political parties
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation
Potential: Global warming, 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, Mine tailing spills, Other Environmental impacts
Other Environmental impactsImpact on Glaciers in the Andes.
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Other socio-economic impacts
Other socio-economic impactsViolation of laws and sovereignty of Argentina (illegal deposit of waste in the concessioned territory).
Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Conflict outcome / response:Land demarcation
Court decision (undecided)
Application of existing regulations
Visibility of the complaint of impact on glaciers of mining companies
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:It is a project that does not start but for business reasons.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Proyecto Pachon, OCMAL.
[click to view]

Página web Glencore. Descripción del proyecto
[click to view]

[click to view]

INFORME ESPECIAL: Serie sobre Glaciares y Minería, Por CEDHA. Xstrata Copper San Juan. El Impacto a Glaciares de Escombro y Ambiente Periglacial Por El Pachón (Xstrata). San Juan, Argentina. Mayo, 2011
[click to view]

Alza de impuestos en Argentina complica desarrollo del proyecto minero El Pachón
[click to view]

Megabasurero minero en San Juan: resoluciones a favor y en contra de la empresa chilena que lo creó En Chile se especula con la salida de la Ministra de Minería por el escándalo bilateral. 21 de agosto de 2016, Infobae.
[click to view]

DISPUTA JUDICIAL. Conflicto ambiental entre una minera chilena y San Juan. La provincia reclama por el abandono de 50 millones de toneladas de escombros en 2011. 4 de agosto de 2015, Clarín.
[click to view]

Después de 3 años de juicio, Pelambres retirará residuos de Argentina. 9 de noviembre de 2017, El Cronista.
[click to view]

Proyecto El Pachón de Glencore se desarrollaría solamente en Argentina
[click to view]

Proyecto El Pachon (Xstrata), Mining Press EnerNews, 3 de octubre de 2012.
[click to view]

Proyecto minero impactaría a más de 200 glaciares. 26 de mayo de 2011, La Voz
[click to view]

Agua y Minería: CEDHA dice que Pachón afectará 200 glaciares. Mining Press, 27 de mayo de 2011
[click to view]

El fiscal federal piden que tanto Pelambres como Pachón saquen la escombrera. 2 de agosto de 2017, El tiempo de San Juan.
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Basura minera: Van por dos dueños de Pachón. CANAL 13 SAN JUAN TV, 24 julio de 2017
[click to view]

Meta information
Last update09/11/2018
Conflict ID:738
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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