McGill Research Group Investigating
Canadian Mining in Latin America

Famatina, Argentina

Key Data

Company:Barrick Gold, Osisko Mining Corporation Operational status:Suspended 2012 Materials extracted:gold Type of mine:open pit Main issues:water, consultation, permitting


Synopsis: Strong opposition from local area – blockades of operations, protests, citizen’s campaigns – met with violence from state authorities. In 2007 opponents to the project succeed in passing a legislative initiative to ban cyanide use and open-pit mining in the province of La Rioja, joining similar bans in other provinces along the Argentine Andes. Barrick Gold dropped the Famatina in 2007 and it was picked up by Montreal-based Osisko in 2011. Serious protests and mobilizations against Osisko rocked La Rioja in early 2012. The company stated that it would not proceed without the social licence of the communities.