The subsidiary of the Neo Lithium company of Canadian origin begins in 2016 perforations in the project three streams (3q) with the approval of the environmental report. EN 2021, the Zijin Mining company of Chinese origin negotiates the purchase of Leolithium and its three-stream project for 737 million dollars .
in 2016, The agrication self-linked by life indicates that exploration activities take place in the vicinity of Mount Pissis, an adventure tourism icon in the province and that would be violating a Ramsar site internationally protected. The area comprises the gadunas, tunas, blue, black, green and three streams.
La Laguna Riggles is a niding site of the Large Parina, better known as Andean flamenco The Assembly denounced that exploration activities were authorized by the Ministry of Mining without prior dissemination and public hearings that grant social license, as established in the laws in force . In September 2016, the company and the municipality summoned some neighbors with personalized invitations to an informative meeting, they are collected signatures that are later presented as evidence of the public hearing required by law and evidence of the social license of the project . Something rejected by the Fiambalan Assembly .
The autoconvocated neighbors for Tinogasta's life announce the presentation of an amparo resource to stop the exploration work based on In the precautionary principle and the lack of evidence that the works will not generate environmental impacts  in November 2016, the self-sustained neighbors of FIAMBALÁ and Tinogast organize an open talk to learn about lithium mining with the reason for the presentation of the book of Lic n.ruiz , then the FIAMBAL ASSEMBLY WAKE WORK. They are presented, unanswered, notes related to the lack of information on the project, in December 2016 before the Deliberative Council of FIAMBALÁ, an information order project accompanied by hundreds of neighboring firms is raised. The first mobilization is performed on the main square of FIAMBALÁ [photo 1].
In January 2017 Assemblymen, mostly women, cut the national route nº60 to protest before the Governor for the lack of information about the project on the occasion of the inauguration of the mining camp that, indicate, does not have social license . The gendarmerie is sent to undo the cut . In the short dialogue with the Governor, it is committed to conducting a meeting and public hearing, which was never fulfilled [Photos 2 cut, photo 3 letter in the Ancasti daily]. A meeting of the Union of Citizen Assemblies (UAC) is conducted to visible the discontent on the Three Broken Project, a manifestation is carried out on the main street of FIAMBALÁ. Several actions are then performed: painted mural [Photo 4], Barrial Audiovisual Projections [Photo 5], awareness per day of wetlands, participation in local fairs [Photo 6].
Activities advance with the Government of the Government of Catamarca and the Company initiates a pilot plan for the design and operation of evaporation pools, as well as the assembly of laboratories, permanent and semi-permanent camps. Including the opening of new access roads. In 2017, the imminent preparation of a preliminary economic assessment report is announced with prospects to start production during the year 2021 .
In February 2017, 9 Assemblies of the Region meet in Andalgalá, 9 Assemblies of the Region to form the Pucará Network (Catamellah peoples in resistance and self-determination) "with the purpose of strengthening us in experiences, information and alternatives and generating a space of confluence, actions and commitments". The initiative was born as a new alternative to fight against extractive progress in the area. At the meeting, the Algarrobo, Chañar (Bethlehem), of the Yokavil, (Santa María), autoconvocados "FIAMBALÁ ARADE" (FIAMBALÁ), self-linked by life, (Tinogasta), London, Belén, Anquinca, Ancasti, Anquasti , and the collective sumaj kausay and the popular movement the dignity (both of San Fernando del Valle de Catamarca). Many of these assemblies have years of work in the area, spreading to the general population how megaminery comes suffocating small and medium-sized regional economies (mostly agricultural and craft productions derived), due to the very high consumption of water and toxic than miners They use to extract each gram of ore . The Assemblies point out that the Three Broken Project is located on a Ramsar Subitio Site "Lagunas Alcoandinas and Puneñas de Catamarca" and jeopardizes the availability of water and all its ecosystem with impacts throughout the Tinogasta Department. They demand respect for protected sites and consulting the peoples . As part of Pucara in 2017, demonstrations are held in the capital of Catamarca during the Governor's speech by the opening of ordinary sessions [Photo 7] and on the occasion of the International Lithium Seminar  [Photo 8], an intervention in The international festival of the poncho.
A report of the situation of mining progress is presented to the IACHR throughout the province of Catamarca and the lack of consultation to the peoples [ 22]. In April 2017, the Non-Governmental Organization Foundation Yuchan presents a preliminary report of relieving extractive activities at the Altiplano de Catamarca (*) through notes addressed to the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development of the Nation (**) to the Environment Secretariat and Sustainable development of the province of Catamarca and the Ministry of Mining of the province of Catamarca. In the aforementioned preliminary report, 3 lithium mining projects initiated during the year 2016 are identified within the Ramsar Lagunas Lagunas Site and Puneñas de Catamar.
in particular, as for Project three Quebrades Yuchan highlights that "in the IIA for exploration stage and the Environmental Impact Declaration, approving the aforementioned IIA, the environmental and social baseline does not correspond to the project intervention scale and does not incorporate the ecosystem approach and the Analysis of the functional aspects, which are practically absent throughout the IIA but very particularly in the annex Biology of the IIA. Within the determination of the Environmental Baseline, which must be prior to the exploration stage, especially emphasis on the hydrogeological study of the basin and to develop models that integrate the functioning of the entire basin, since as the authors stand out, It is "a system of interconnected lagoons and sallares", where proposed actions - wide extension and high intensity - in a sector of the basin, as in Laguna Three Broken and Green Lagoon - can most likely affect other sectors of The same basin as a black lagoon, since as the authors recognize, the surface and subsurface water dynamics are unknown and only vague inferences. The beginning of the exploration phase should not be allowed without having this crucial information and obviously an acceptable environmental impact report can not be made without that information. "
The two Catamarca secretariats did not respond to the respective notes sent, the Nation Ministry of Environment responded to the Yuchan Foundation indicating that as a technical focal point of the Wetlands Convention (Ramsar) had sent note to the Sustainable Environment and Sustainable Development Secretariat of Catamar In August 2017 (***) and in the face of the lack of response, it had been reiterated in December of that year (****), informing the Yuchan Foundation of those efforts (*****). In Figalan, more mobilizations and actions are carried out in 2017, in March walking with assembly of Famatina, in April walk in the Plaza, August awareness and hike in place. In December 2017, WTO is participated in Buenos Aires, the three-streamed conflict is presented in the mining and mobilization forums [Photo 9].
In 2018, more shares are held for the day of water in Plaza Fuerthá, demonstration in the capital in the Governor's speech. The first Latin American water summit is organized next to Pucara  [Photo 10]. In 2017 and 2018, the Assembly FIAMBALÁ ARADE presents notes to the different government agencies with information orders, the majority without answers [Photo 11]. The project advances with government guarantee .
In 2019 Neo Lithium installs a pilot plant built by the Institute of Technological Research of the University of Concepción, Chile , in sheds of the locality of Fiambalaá. The plant has an annual designed capacity of 50 tons of lithium carbonate per year using concentrated brine of the 3Q project with lithium brine from 3.2% to 3.6% . In 2019 before the installation of the pilot plant in the city and the advertisement of Water Drilling Powered by Liex S.A., an order request for the Executive is presented, councilors say they do not have knowledge of the projects. The information order project is not approved . During 2019, the Assembly performs a day of visible with projections and walk in the Plaza, a meeting in main square along with the Assembly of Famatina, and on the occasion of the Governor's visit to FIAMBALÁ Visit the conflict with posters as a step . The company presents in 2019 an environmental impact assessment that ensures that the 3Q project "can be developed with a minimum impact on ecosystems and in areas identified outside the premises that are sensitive to the environment, proposing to the authorities a special treatment of those sectors ". It also highlights the different support programs for public and private community activities that develop. .
In October 2019, the Bienavent Organization the poor presents a report that evaluates the performance of the 3Q project within the framework of the Guiding Principles of Transnational Companies. The report highlights various rights violated by the company referring to water [reservoirs, water, water cycle, vegas involvement and periglacial systems, vulnerability to soil salinization). It is noted that the environmental report was approved without a hydrogeomorphological study of the basin and that it is imprecise in relation to the existence of fresh water in the basin. Among environmental violations, the predation and destruction of the unique landscape is indicated, the inconvenience of the precautionary principle before the great uncertainties at stake. The impact on the privatization of ancestral territories is highlighted.
In terms of the right to free and informed participation, the lack of information and transparency, the lack of consultation stands out Public, and accentuation in inequality in territorial decision making. Various impacts regarding the declaration of social and cultural economic rights that affect communal forms of life and populations with particular ethnic characteristics are highlighted. Lack of freedom of expression and protest, legal uncertainty, among other failures of the project .
In January 2020 the Tinogasta and Fuembalá assemblies meet before the Concern of a new progress in the installation of the final lithium processing plant and land granting for Liex S.A announced by Neolithium S.A, closing with a mobilization . In March 2021 members of the Assembly FIAMBALÁ awake present note in the deliberative council to request information on an industrial pole project and the expropriation of land, during the representatives session of the municipality deny that the project is for a mining and councilors do not know the Purpose of the project [Note 03/31/21, Photo 11].
In 2021 the company Neo Lithium completes its 5-year pilot project concluding that it is possible to obtain a concentration of brine of approximately 3.6% and it is proposed to expand the capacity of the Evaporation Pools of the Project by 20%. The company indicates that it is possible to produce 40 tons of lithium carbonate per year. The pilot plant produced the first batch of lithium carbonate with 99.1% purity in September 2019 and in March 2020 the engineers achieved a purity of 99.535% with a process that uses a solvent extraction phase (SX-B ) For boron removal, a sulfation phase for calcium removal using sodium sulfate and a bell and carbonation phase to remove magnesium and any remaining calcium. The company indicates that it has reached the final goal of 99,891%, of purity that is considered acceptable as a final product of high quality material for batteries. The company has today about 50 tons of concentrated brine ready to be converted into lithium carbonate by the plant . Lithium: "One of the stars of extractive economic policy driven by the national government under the flag of" sustainability "and transition to" green energies ". Both the Argentine government and Neo Lithium refer to lithium mining as "green" mining, "sustainable", "inclusive". A source of opportunities, improvements in the life of the population, work and development. This discourse legitimizes the impulse of the project, seeks to attract ethical investors and justify investments within the framework of the energy transition to renewable energy. The company Neo Lithium very directly associates the three-stream project as the solution to the climate crisis when declaring; "If the world hopes to combat climate change, it needs to develop innovative progress in battery technology"  and that " Electric cars will help fight against climate disaster ". According to Neo Lithium," Oil has been the main source of energy for more than a century, however, thanks to technological advances, lithium batteries are now A reality and change of this paradigm is inevitable. Electric vehicles of the day, portable applications and large-scale batteries for network stabilization are becoming efficient ways to reduce fossil fuels ". This pronouncement is aligned with the declaration of the Minister of Mining of Catamarca, Fernanda Ávila, who has declared regarding lithium mining in the province that: "We have to be p Rotagonist in the energy transition we are living ". The company also ensures to reinforce the idea that it is in an ideal position to capitalize on demand for lithium: "$ Neo Lithium is in a solid position to benefit from the increase in demand caused by change towards transport electrification ". And it adds that "supply limitations, increased demand, increased sales of electric vehicles and increasingly ecological and green policies make the future look bright for lithium" . It also communicates to its investors that has a: "important strategic partner, CATL, the largest producer of world batteries based in China, who manufactures batteries for the main automotive companies in the world" . Neo Lithium Abrazamos announces on its website that is committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, emphasizing in ODS # 13 related to climate action .
However, this type of voluntary frameworks allows companies such as Neo Lithium to advertise as companies committed to the environment and human rights without carrying out perceptible changes at the bottom of their operations or their strategies. Its purpose is usually simply marketing. At the governmental level, lithium "is one of the stars of extractive economic policy driven by the national government, which under the flag of" sustainability "and the transition to" green energies "seeks to attract investments for the production of lithium carbonate , lithium chloride and lithium hydroxide, raw material for the production of batteries of the promised revolution of electric cars ". In fact, in one of its official reports, the Ministry Secretary under the Ministry of Productive Development highlights the country as part of the triangle of lithium, driver of the green economy and supplier of the materials necessary for the electromobility boom  . On the other hand, during the world's largest mining convention Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) (Association of Prospectors and Developers of Canada, in Spanish) carried out every year in Toronto, Canada, representatives of the National Government and Governors of Several Argentine provinces, including Catamarca, highlighted Argentina's geological mining potential and opportunities for international mining companies in the country. Likewise, mining painted in the country as an inclusive, sustainable and green activity that improves the life of the population. The PDAC is an "annual conference where mining companies around the world converge to do business and ensure that they can continue to operate in a way in which they can continue prioritizing profits regardless of costs" that their operations generate for communities: costs environmental, social and / or human rights . Using the same corporate mining discourses, the Argentine delegation highlighted lithium as a vital metal in the energy transition and Governor of Catamarca Lic. Raúl Jalil, stressed that: "Catamarca is mining by nature, by geological potential, history and tradition. The development of mining has a constitutional hierarchy and is considered a strategic activity for the economic and productive growth of the province. We offer a wide portfolio of mining projects, a secure road infrastructure and communication that allows you to go to the Pacific to market with Asian markets. " In addition, he noted that: "In lithium, we also have a vast experience having consolidated projects and others in auspicious stages of development" while Neo Lithium and the Argentine Government, both nationally and provincial promote lithium and three streams as a project that will contribute to The manufacture of electric cars, allowing the reduction of dioxide carbon emissions, and that will provide future economic gains for your investors, this project threatens everything that says protect. As they manifest the nine Assemblies of Andalgalá that make up the PUCARA network, this project has not only respected the right to consultation of the peoples but also put a risk a Ramsar site by endangering the availability of water and all its ecosystem with impact throughout the Tinogasta Department.
|Name of conflict:||Lithium mining in Tres Quebradas and defense of water, Argentina|
|State or province:||Catamarca.|
|Location of conflict:||FIAMBALÁ, DEPARTMENT OF TINOGASTA|
|Accuracy of location||HIGH (Local level)|
|Type of conflict. 1st level:||Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction|
|Type of conflict. 2nd level:||Mining exploration and/or ore extraction|
Dams and water distribution conflicts
The company Neo Lithium completed a 5-year pilot project in 2021 in which it concluded that it is possible to obtain a brine concentration of approximately 3.6%. EN 2021 proposes to expand the capacity of the project evaporation pools by 20%. The company indicates that it is possible to produce 40 tons of lithium carbonate per year .
In 2019 Neo Lithium informs the results of the pre-feasibility study of Project 3Q (12). The preferential study (PFS) estimates an investment of US $ 319 million dollars and closing costs by approximately US $ 26 million. Proven and probable reserves of 1.3 million tons of LCE with 790 mg / l lithium  are identified.
The preliminary economic assessment provides for an internal rate of performance (after taxes) of 27.8% and a period of recovery (from the start of production) of one year and 8 months. An annual average production of 35,000 tons of lithium carbonate is estimated with a production cost of $ 2.791 per tonne during the 20 years of mine life .
EN 2020 NEO Lithium announces the results of the Preliminary Feasibility study: "The production of grade lithium carbonate - with a purity of 99.535% - extraction with solvent (SX-B) for the elimination of boron, a sulfation phase for the Removal of calcium using sodium sulfate and a bell and carbonation phase to remove the remaining magnesium and calcium. The lithium carbonate process is completed with 3 stages of carbonation, washing and drying of soda ash. Battery grade lithium carbonate occurred with a purity of 99.599% using an improved process, -change of the sulfation phase for calcium removal by an acidification phase with sodium hydroxide - can reduce operating costs and Capital while minimizing the consumption of reagents, water and energy. " 
The concessioned area is 35,000 ha and the area of involvement for trace of the road involves a direct intervention on the soil of 73972 ha.
|Level of Investment for the conflictive project||319,000,000|
|Type of population||Rural|
|Affected Population:||7,500 people (Urban and rural population of FIAMBALÁ)|
|Start of the conflict:||2016|
|Company names or state enterprises:||Liex S.A from Argentina|
Neo Lithium Corp. from Canada
|Relevant government actors:||Secretary of Environment and Sustainable Development of Catamarca Deliberative Council FIAMBALÁ. Ministry of Mining Catamarca Ombudsman's Office of the Nation|
|Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:||Autoconvocados FIAMBALÁ awake Peasant Camping Organization Assembly El Algarrobo. Assembly of Chañar (Bethlehem), Assembly of Yokavil (Santa María), Autoconvocados by Life (Tinogast) Neighbors of London, Bethlehem, Anquinca, Ancasti Collective sumaj kausay. Popular movement Dignity (both of San Fernando del Valle de Catamarca). Blessed are the poor. Eg Farn. Yuchan Foundation|
|Intensity||MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)|
|Reaction stage||PREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)|
|Forms of mobilization:||Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)|
Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
|Environmental Impacts||Potential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, 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 Impacts||Potential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)|
|Socio-economical Impacts||Visible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors|
Potential: Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Specific impacts on women, Loss of landscape/sense of place
|Project Status||In operation|
|Conflict outcome / response:||Corruption|
Criminalization of activists
Strengthening of participation
|Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:||No|
|Briefly explain:||Up to 2021, the project advances without consultation or social license.|
|Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)|
|References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries|
|Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network|
|Contributor:||Asamblea Fiambalá Despierta (Beatriz Perea), Fundación YUCHAN, Ejaltas (Mariana Walter)|
Foto 5. Exhibiciones documentales barriales, día de los humedales
(Asamblea Fiambalá Despierta, 2017)
Foto 4. Mural
(Asamblea Fiambalá Despierta, 2017)
Foto 6. Participación e Información en feria Acopah (2017)
(Asamblea Fiambalá Despierta)
Foto 8. Protesta seminario litio
(Asamblea Fiambalá despierta, 2017)
Foto 10. primera Cumbre Latinoamericana del Agua para los pueblos
Se organiza junto a PUCARA la primera Cumbre Latinoamericana del Agua para los pueblos. (Asamblea Fiambalá, 2018)
Foto 12. Banner en feria
(Asamblea Fiambalá despierta)
Foto 9. protestas en Buenos Aires contra OMC (12/2017)
Asamblea Fiambalá (2017)
Foto 11. resumen notas sin respuesta
Asamblea Fiambalá Despierta presenta notas a los distintos organismos gubernamentales con pedidos de información, la mayoría sin respuestas. (Asamblea Fiambalá Despierta,
Foto 2. Corte de ruta
(Asamblea Fiambalá despierta, 2017)
Foto 3. carta abierta (Ancasti)
(Asamblea Fiambalá Despierta, 2017)
Foto 7. Protesta
Fiambalá Despierta (01/05/2017)
Foto 1. Primera Movilización en plaza Fiambalá
(2016, Asamblea Fiambalá Despierta)