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  • keeve06 keeve06 Mar 18, 2013 2:38 PM Flag


    However in July, Argentina's Supreme Court removed the injunction and paved the way for the national government to begin an inventory of the glaciers around the mines, and order new environmental impact assessments.

    At the time, Barrick said it would not be affected by the court ruling - and so far provincial authorities in San Juan, who support the project, have all but ignored it.

    But other recent rulings in Chile and Argentina may signal a growing willingness on the part of national governments to enforce their environmental laws vis-à-vis transnational corporations.

    In April, Chile's Supreme Court suspended environmental permits for the El Morro mine - also in the Huasco Valley, and owned by Canadian companies Goldcorp and New Gold - because the companies did not consult the indigenous Huascoaltino communities, in violation of Chilean law. Construction of that mine is still on hold.

    Then in July, a court in La Rioja province, just north of San Juan, suspended the permit for the Cerro Famatina mine - owned by Osisko, a gold mining company based in Montreal - until an inventory of the glaciers in that province is completed.

    In San Juan province, where the Pascua-Lama mine is under construction, Canada's own Extractive Sector Corporate Responsibility Counsellor - an appointee of the Canadian government charged with investigating complaints against Canadian mining companies abroad - agreed to look into accusations McEwan Mining, based in Toronto, is violating the Glacier Law at its Los Azules project. The investigation was closed, however, when McEwan withdrew from the voluntary mediation at the end of November.


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