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Rejection of lithium extraction in the Tapias, Córdoba, Argentina

The interest of exploring lithium minerals on a large scale in the tapias unleashes a local mobilization that leads to the local ban on large-scale mining in this locality.

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In 2008, a ban on metallé mining is sanctioned in the province of Córdoba (it does not affect mining activities not linked to uranium or metals). To the present (2021) Provincial social mobilization has defended this legislation of several attempts to repeal it. In the context of provincial anti-mining struggle, high social sensitivity is generated with mining activity. The province of Córdoba has a tourist and agricultural character that movements indicate as incompatible with large-scale mining [1].

in the municipality of the tapias is located An old mine for low-scale extraction of products such as quartz, feldspar and mica that already produced a decisions ago with neighboring localities by explosions and powders suspended in the air that were generated [2]. However, the interest of exploring the potential to explore large-scale lithium minerals unleashed a local mobilization that leads to the local ban on large-scale mining in this locality.

In January 2019 the deliberative council of the Tapias (Córdoba) unanimously approves an ordinance that prohibits large-scale mining in that jurisdiction and the circulation of materials from it by its ejido. This ordinance was promoted by Les Vecines Organizes in Local Assemblies. Similar legislations had been approved in the neighboring city of Villa Dolores and in Villa de las Rosas. Thus, these three contiguous districts of translasaw are opposed to large-scale farms. Caravans from three zones of the valley, and protesters with surroundings and banners, celebrated the decision of the authorities of the tapias [3].

Around 2017 the company Pampa Lithium S.A, controlled by 25% by Australian Dark Horse [4] acquires 34,000 hectares with licenses for exploration and expansion of existing mines in the walls. The mine is located 0.4 km from the School of the Tapias, 1.6 km from Plaza de Villa de Las Rosas and 700 meters from the Laby Diaper Coast (Villa Dolores water source) [5].

This mine was a source of beryl (a mineral associated with lithium), for several periods from 1938 to 1965. Sources indicate that the mine contains zones of up to 80% of Espodumene with some crystals up to 3 meters long. The Espodumene contains an average degree of 5.5% lithium oxide. Since 1978, the mine has been in sporadic production of quartz, feldspar and mica. Dark Horse is investigating the existing underways and tailings in search of significant lithium content on pegmatite, as well as exploring other areas close to detail to detect the existence of Espodumene [3].

The lack of information from the authorities caused the concern to grow throughout the valley. In more than 10 locations, neighborhood assemblies were made, which were manifested emphatically against the project. "A large-scale exploitation will impact the neighbors, because, not being able to wash in the province because a law prevents it, lithium would be extracted in the form of stone, but at a very high scale, and that produces high levels of dust and debris that damage air and water, which is our tourist capital "(Biologist Gerardo Coria, from the Environmental Forum of Traslasierra. [3]

On the contrary, the director of Mining of the Province, said referring to the Espodumeno: "It is a mineral that does not present any health problems." The same official confirmed that Dark Horse would not have found the amount of expected Espodumeno, convenient for his investment, so it is estimated that no There would be real interest in an effective exploitation [3]. Despite the sayings of the government, the intense neighborhood struggle seems to have had a remarkable role in changes in mining plans.

The environmental forum translasier was complained, first of all, by the High information and argued that the closest locations, mainly the tapias, Villa de las Rosas and Villa Dolores, would be deeply harmed and affected, among other variables, by the toxic dust that occurs during primary extraction and processing of mineral. [6]

Les Nevities argue that lithium removal will produce environmental problems such as water pollution, impact on the landscape of translasier, the destruction of sensitive ecosystems , the damage of the Flora and Fauna Serrana, and the generation of solid and chemical waste. Among the main loss of lithium to human health, the burns, nose irritation and throat, exudations inside the bronchi and pulmonary edema, with light poisoning that can culminate with death [6].

"The lack of information about the precision and delicacy with which the subject should be taken is worrisome. It is the opportune moment for mobilization and thus visible something that is evident: that no authority is informing neighbors and this only generates concerns and doubts, "they assured from the forum in a statement, from which it is intended when action of the municipal, provincial and national authorities, which have not yet been expressed about it [6].

as a more immediate measure, the Assembly was established at the end of 2018 In rejection of the lithium mine, which also brings together the Human Rights Bureau of Traslasierra, the Mesa Human Rights La Paz, the Environmental Assembly La Paz-Luyaba, the Environmental Assembly of Arroyo de los Ducks and the Socialist Left of Saint Vincent , which together is performing awareness, dissemination and communication activities in the area.

"The most serious problem is that none of the companies has delivered so far The final environmental impact report that by law must raise To the Secretariat of Energy and Mining of the Nation, and yet they are working in the area with total freedom, "said Claudia Ulloa, member of the Assembly, urban challenges. "In addition to the first reports we carry out in conjunction with the Forum, we intend to convene the National University of Córdoba, to continue assessing the deep impacts that exploitation will have. But the essential thing is to be able to raise awareness of people, because this will harm us all, "he added. [6].

During 2019, the neighbors meet firms (11,000 faceliers and 35,000 virtual), present notes, carry out public demonstrations and systematize the information available from the project. These actions motivate some local officials and politicians not to publicly support the lithium project [7].

Although from the Minas Secretariat of the province it is reported that There would have been no good exploration results. The neighbors fear that "we have information that indicates that the lithium they found in a mine is not enough. But it can be added to that of other extractions, here or in other provinces. For us, the risk continues "[8].

Basic Data
Name of conflict:Rejection of lithium extraction in the Tapias, Córdoba, Argentina
State or province:Cordova
Location of conflict:Municipality of the Tapias
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
Specific commodities:Lithium
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The project for the extract of lithium proposed in the walls is located in an old mine for the extraction of potassium feldspar, quartz, albite, beryllium and espodumene. This site was claimed in 1938 and passed into the hands of the General Directorate of Military Fabrications in 1946 with various producers by exploiting the mine. In the 1980s, perforations were performed. In 1985, probable reserves of 54,600 tonnes of quartz, 36,400 t of feldspar and 1000 T of Berillion were identified. In 1963, reservations of 700 tonnes of beryllium were estimated. The company was recently exploited by Andino Minerals S.A in the form of open pit quarry, while beryllium and espodumene was extracted by underground work

See more
Project area:34,000.
Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:2017
Company names or state enterprises:Pampa Litio S.A. from Australia
Dark Horses from Argentina
Relevant government actors:Ministry Secretary
Deliberative Council The Tapias
Municipal governments
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Environmental Forum of Traslasierra,
Assembly in rejection of lithium mine,
Human Rights Table of Traslasierra,
Human Rights Table La Paz,
Environmental Assembly La Paz-Luyaba,
Environmental Assembly of Arroyo de los Ducks
(Socialist left of Saint Vincent).
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Recreational users
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Noise pollution
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Other socio-economic impacts
Potential: Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Institutional changes
New legislation
Project cancelled
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Sources & Materials

[1] Artículo titulado “Traslasierra: recital contra minería” extraído de “No a la Minería. La Montaña sigue en pie gracias a su gente”.

Publicado el 3/08/2010
[click to view]

[2] Artículo titulado “El municipio de Villa Las Rosas prohibió la minería - NO A LA MINA ESQUEL” extraído de “No a la Minería. La Montaña sigue en pie gracias a su gente”. Publicado el 6/05/2007
[click to view]

[3] Las Tapias prohibió la minería a gran escala por el proyecto de Litio. Conflicto escrito por La Voz y No A La Mina.Org publicado en el Observatorio de Conflictos Mineros de América Latina (OCMAL).

Publicado el 22/01/2019
[click to view]

[4] Artículo del perfil de la compañía Pampa Litio S.A en la plataforma de inteligencia de negocios Bnamericas.
[click to view]

[5] Artículo titulado “Litio: la megaminería de Traslasierra” extraído de “La tinta. Periodismo hasta marcharse”.

Publicado el 21/11/2018
[click to view]

[6] Artículo titulado “Alerta por la explotación de litio en Traslasierra” escrito y publicado por “Desafíos Urbanos. Observatorio Social de Córdoba”.

Publicado el 21/12/2018
[click to view]

[7] Artículo titulado “Córdoba/Megaminería: otro paso más contra la mina de litio en Las Tapias” publicado en Red Internacional. Escrito por Loly Rivarola de Pan Y Las Rosas.

Publicado el 15/04/2019
[click to view]

[8] Artículo titulado “Sigue la controversia por la exploración de litio en Traslasierra” publicado en La Voz, escrito por Miguel Ortiz.

Publicado el 23/04/2019
[click to view]

[9] Litio: la megaminería en Traslasierra. Publicado en La Tinta el 21 noviembre de 2018.
[click to view]

[10] Carta de Minerales, Rocas Industriales y Gemas. Programa Nacional de Cartas Geológicas y Temáticas de la República Argentina
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Facebook No a la mina de litio en las tapias
[click to view]

Meta information
Last update27/09/2021
Conflict ID:5642
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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