Massive anti-mining march takes over Mendoza legislature, Argentina
Demonstrators demand rejection of San Jorge project
On 7th February 2011, the Provincial Government of Mendoza announced the approval of the Environmental Impact Study for the San Jorge project of Canada's Coro Mining Corp.
Under Mendoza provincial law, the resulting Environmental Impact Declaration must be submitted to the Provincial Legislature for ratification.
But more than a thousand protesters took over Mendoza's Legislature in rejection of the government's approval and to demand the legislature not endorse it. The unexpected invasion of the protesters took the security personnel by surprise and stopped the session for one hour until it was suspended.
Curiously, the company statement says that the project is located in the Department of Las Heras (in the South of Mendoza), when actually it is located near Uspallata (in the North of the province).
Massive anti-mining march took over Legislature
More than a thousand environmentalists marched in protest against the San Jorge mining project in Uspallata and in defense of their water. They took over the building and the vice- governor Racconto had to come out and calm things down.
22 February 2011
In an unprecedented move, a massive anti-mining protest took over the provincial legislature today. More than a thousand activists from various social, political and ecological organisations joined Uspallata neighbors to protest against the San Jorge gold and copper mining project.
The protesters gathered in the morning and marched to the Legislature. On the way they were joined by protesters from the southern part of the province that yesterday had blocked a main road at General Alvear for the same reasons.
When they reached the Legislature, where the Environmental Impact Statement of the project was to be discussed, the protesters suddenly entered the room. "Do not touch the water of Mendoza!" they shouted in chorus.
The vice-governor Cristian Racconto had to leave the meeting to calm the protesters. The government official assured them they would have the opportunity to be heard. "I understand your claims and will continue with my work," he said amidst a hail of insults.
After spending about an hour in the legislature, the protesters retreated to the door of the building. The House of Representatives adjourned the meeting of the five committees that were supposed to discuss the Environmental Impact Statement.
Coro Announces Approval of San Jorge Project Environmental Impact Study
Coro Mining Corp Press Release
7 February 2011
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA- Coro Mining Corp. is pleased to announce that the San Jorge project Environmental Impact Study ("EIS") has been approved by the Provincial Government of Mendoza, and that the resulting Environmental Impact Declaration ("EID") will be submitted to the Provincial Legislature for ratification.
The EID is conditional, inter alia, upon the Company's Argentinean subsidiary, Minera San Jorge ("MSJ"), complying with the highest standards of environmental protection, control and monitoring prior to, and during the construction and operation of the project, including the requirement for the paste tailings deposit to be made impermeable with a liner. In addition, MSJ will be required to contribute 0.5% of metal sales on an annual basis to an environmental remediation fund, to be recovered upon satisfactory closure of the mine. Finally, MSJ will be required to negotiate the terms of an agreement with the Provincial Government and the Department of Las Heras, where the project is located, whereby MSJ will contribute to a social development fund to benefit the local community. A translated version of the EID will be posted on the Company's website in due course.
Alan Stephens, President and CEO of Coro, commented, "We are delighted that, after an exhaustive and thorough process, the Provincial Government has approved our EIS. We are also pleased that we will have the opportunity to directly fund the social development of the local community of Uspallata and the rest of Las Heras. This satisfactory outcome is the result of more than 2 years of hard work by the Company's South American team, led by Fabian Gregorio, President of MSJ and Marcelo Cortes, Coro's VP of Project Development, and we now look forward to the Provincial Legislature ratifying the Government's decision. Upon ratification, the Company will recommence engineering studies aimed at demonstrating the full potential of San Jorge at industry standard metal prices."
About San Jorge:
The San Jorge copper-gold project is located in Mendoza, Argentina. The Company completed an independent Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA"), in April 2008 which contemplated production of 39,500 tonnes of copper per annum and 39,000 ounces of gold per annum over a 16 year mine life. The deposit remains open at depth and using a $2.00 per pound copper and $600 per ounce gold price returned an after tax NPV of $220 million, with a capital expenditure of $277 million.
Coro is fully committed to developing San Jorge in such a way that no water resources would be affected by contamination, as required by local and national laws and regulations, and by international best practices. The Company, through its subsidiary, Minera San Jorge, continues to follow a policy of complete transparency and frankness, and has stressed the economic and employment benefits of the project to Argentina, as well as a commitment to exacting industry standards in environmental management, and has invited citizen participation in the environmental monitoring of the operation. The Company has demonstrated its commitment to water conservation through the proposed use of paste tailings, which minimises water usage through recycling. It has committed to train as many local residents as possible for employment in the future operations at San Jorge.