The Argentine Congress has passed a law imposing strict limits on mining near glaciers. The law which was passed on Thursday is likely to affect foreign investments in the mining industry in Argentina. It was approved in the Senate by a vote of 35 to 33 with one abstention.
Now under the law mining near the environmentally sensitive glaciers along the Argentina – Chile border will be prohibited. Many environmental groups have said that the mining activity would pose a grave threat to the region’s glaciers.
Canadian company Barrick Gold had invested in a ‘mega project’ along the Argentine-Chile border and was hoping to develop the Pascua Lima project. President Cristina Kirchner vetoed a 2008 bill to protect glaciers, which was instrumental in clearing the way for this mega project which involved a $3 billion investment of Barrick Gold over the next 25 years.
The Pascua Lima project is considered to be one of the largest untapped gold mines in the world today. States whose economy depended on mining tried hard to deter the new law but failed. After the law being passed the large gold deposit will remain untapped.