Tag Archives: Environment

Barrick Gold Admits Wrongdoing; Diaguita Communities Seek Revocation of License

Barrick Gold, owner of the Pascua Lama mine that spans the Chile-Argentina border, appeared in front of a Chilean court again on Monday, August 26th. This time, however, the multi-billion dollar corporation admitted that it had violated  environmental regulations in the construction of its mining operation. The admission comes four months after a group of Diaguita communities successfully won a court case against the corporation and effectively shut down their operations. Continue reading

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Pascua Lama Gold Mine Likely 1-2 Years Away from Opening

The Pascua Lama gold mine — owned by Barrick Gold — was ordered shut down earlier this year when a Diaguita community successfully challenged the mine’s environmental record in Chilean court. Ultimately, the company was fined US$16 million and ordered to resolve dozens of environmental issues. Today, in an interview with Reuters, Chile’s environmental regulator said that the infrastructure needed to resolve the issues could take up to two years to get in place. Even so, Chilean President Piñera publicly stated on May 30th, that he hopes the mine will one day operate again.

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Barrick Gold Asks Chilean Court to Reconsider Mine Stoppage from Diaguita Communities’ Lawsuit

According to Radio Universidad de Chile, one week after the Chilean appellate court in Copiapó sided with several Diaguita communities and granted an injunction to halt all action at the Pascua Lama mine (owned by Barrick Gold), the mining company filed a motion to ask the court to reconsider its injunction. The court will decide whether to accept or deny the request to reconsider in the next few days. The Diaguita communities’ lawyer, Alex Quevedo, said Barrick Gold’s request was an unusually rare maneuver and “lacked substance”. Continue reading

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Lawsuit by Diaguita Community Shuts Down Barrick Gold’s Mine in Chile

On Wednesday, April 10th, the Court of Appeals in Copiapó unanimously ordered all work at the Pascua Lama mine halted until further notice. The order was a result of a lawsuit brought by the Diaguita communities of the Huasco Valley in northern Chile and alleged that the mine’s work was violating multiple environmental regulations including regulations that protect three glaciers in the area from environmental harm and contamination. The decision marks the second time in the past 12 months that a Chilean court has halted a mine based on a lawsuit brought by Indigenous communities. Continue reading

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Argentina: Mapuche Community Occupies Plant of U.S. Gas and Oil Company

Beginning on Tuesday, November 22nd, and continuing for several days, the Mapuche community of Gelay Ko has been occupying a compressor plant of the Apache Corporation — a U.S. company based in Houston, Texas — claiming that their operations are taking place on Indigenous lands and are polluting the local water supply. The protests are occurring in the Neuquén province of Argentina and did result in at least temporary loss of services to some local communities. Although there have been no reports of violence as of yet, there is a strong police presence in the region now and both the protestors and company employees have alleged threatening behavior. Continue reading

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Mapuche Community Petitions Supreme Court to Stop Power Line Project

On Friday, May 20th, the Temuco Court of Appeals filed a petition of protection on behalf of the Mapuche community of Felipe Nitrihuala against a high voltage power line construction project in there area. The project is being undertaken by the company, Transnet, which received final environmental approval to begin construction on December 1, 2010. Shortly after the project was approved, the Mapuche community went to court on the grounds that it poses a serious risk to their health, their culture (in the form of sacred sites), and that they were not appropriately consulted as is required under international and Chilean law. Continue reading

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Threat of Dam Construction for Huilliche Communities in Los Ríos Region

Over the weekend, Mapuche-Huilliche communities from the area around Maihue lake met to discuss the proposed construction of a hydroelectric dam, Central Maqueo, by the Norwegian company Trayenko (an affiliate of SN Power in Chile). Continue reading

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Aymara Communities Raise Concerns Over National Park Creation

This week, the Ministry of Agriculture, together with several other government officials, held an inauguration ceremony for the newly-created Parque Nacional Salar del Huasco. The national park was created by decree in June of this year, and covers 110,962.66 hectares (274,194 acres) in the Tarapacá Region of northern Chile. Continue reading

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