McGill Research Group Investigating
Canadian Mining in Latin America

Pirquitas, Argentina

Key Data

Company:MIna Pirquitas, Sunshine Argentina, Silver Standard Operational status:In production since December 2009 Materials extracted:silver, zinc Type of mine:open pit Main issues:public health, pollution


Synopsis: Mining in Pirquitas dates back to the 1930s, however public concerns about lead contamination and air quality have become prevalent since the mine’s re-opening in 2009. There are community organizations both for and against the mine. While it employs many locals, a study released by the University of Jujuy in February 2012 indicates “81% of children in Abrapama, Jujuy, have dangerous quantities of lead in their blood” attributed to the mines in the area. Allegedly, authorities disregarded judicial procedures regarding environmental issues. Respiratory problems resulting from dust are also alleged. Opposition to mining in the area extends beyond the specific case of Pirquitas