McGill Research Group Investigating
Canadian Mining in Latin America

Esquel, Argentina

Key Data

Company:Meridian Gold, Yamana Gold Operational status:exploration, permitting Materials extracted:gold Type of mine:open pit Main issues:water, biodiversity, permitting


Synopsis: Citizen concerns focus on water and local forests, especially endangered species of tree known as the alerce. External experts report flaws with company EIA especially its lack of an adequate waste management plan. In 2003 a locally-organized referendum was held with a 75% participation rate. A strong majority rejected the mine (80%) and municipality subsequently moved to ban open-pit mining from the area. In 2007 Yamana Gold stated that it would no longer develop the project, but in 2011 citizen protests renewed as company reactivated its activities.