Today Greenpeace published a paper which provides evidence that the world’s largest gold producer is having a detrimental affect on glaciers in Argentina and Chile.
The document notes that the opening of roads to access the mines and transport material out of them is having a detrimental affect on the local and wider environment. It also highlights that the company’s Pascua Lama and Verladero operations are occurring in the San Guillermo Reserve, a UNESCO site. These are placed in a periglacial area, which is prohibited in the Glaciar Law.
Close to 75% of Argentine territory is arid or semiarid, and it is estimated that climate change is affecting the availability of drinking water in the Cuyo region, which depends on melt water from the Andes.
According to Greenpeace, “Barrick has total immunity to destruct glaciers. The gravest part of the situation is that government of San Jan like the national government actually comply with the inventory and audits of the gold companies.’
Barrick has been accused by Greanpeace of playing a part in stalling the development of the Glaciar Law in the Supreme Court. The law aims to prevent industrial activity in glacial and periglacial areas.