Greenpeace Argentina recently took on Canadian mining giant Barrick Gold to challenge the company on its efforts to block application of a new law to protect glaciers in Argentina.
The action against Barrick Gold came just weeks before the annual convention in Toronto of the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada—being held this year from March 6 to 9. The mining types will talk about mineral outlook, exploration tax incentives and China’s spree of buying up commodities.
A yellow container with the inscription “Barrick: stop blocking the Glacier Law” on it was placed at the main entrance to the Valadero mine along tents covering the road. Another camp with 20 tents was set up nearby to block truck entrance to Pascua-Lama. The blockade was in the province of San Juan, some 1,120 miles northwest of Buenos Aires.
The activists want Barrick to stop blocking the new Glacier Law that parliament approved last year. Parliament passed the Glacier Law to restrict activities that threaten glaciers and requires the development of a national inventory of glaciers with the information necessary for appropriate protection and monitoring of the impacts of climate change.
Since passage, parliament has suspended implementation. Greenpeace Argentina says Barrick is the main problem in promoter the suspension of implementation.
The law also prohibits any activity that could cause the "destruction or relocation" of glaciers, and particularly activities that involve the use of contaminating substances or which generate waste. And it establishes strict sanctions for violators.
Greenpeace Argentina called the new law “a great step by Congress” despite the insistent and disproportionate pressure from the mining industry.