MAC: Mines and Communities

Urgent Action - Tell Canadian Noranda Inc. President and CEO that you want the company to save Patag

Published by MAC on 2001-05-01

Urgent Action - Tell Canadian Noranda Inc. President and CEO, Derek Pannell, that you want the company to SAVE Patagonia and CAN its aluminum smelter project!!

What is Alumysa?

The Alumysa aluminum smelter, proposed by the Canadian giant Noranda Inc., is a $2.75 billion mega-project that threatens to devastate the Aysén region of Patagonia, Chile. This region is one of the most pristine areas remaining on the planet, with globally significant rainforests and rare wildlife. If accepted, the aluminum smelter would create 1.5 million tonnes of solid, liquid, and gaseous waste every year, and the dams would flood 10,000 hectares of land. In its wake, Alumysa would menace ecosystems rich in native forests, indigenous wildlife, and water resources. It would also compromise the health of local residents, threaten the livelihoods of local fishermen and farmers, and devastate important salmon stocks and a growing tourism industry. Furthermore, all the raw alumina necessary for the project would have to be imported, and the end product exported along with the vast majority of profits.

In contrast, Aysén residents have staged strong opposition to the project, declaring the region a "Life Reserve", and have established their own plans for using eco-tourism, organic livestock rearing and sustainable fishing, to develop the economy. There are also proposals before a Regional Government Commission to turn Patagonia into a World Heritage Site. But if the project moves forward, Alumysa would destroy the heart of Patagonia with the construction of six dams, three hydroelectric installations, access roads, power lines, a new port and wharf, and the aluminum smelter.

What is happening to the project now? Noranda continues to hold Aysén hostage. While strong opposition from civil society, local, national and international groups and the salmon industry succeeded in getting Noranda to put the project temporarily on hold, the company has not cancelled its plans. The residents of Aysén fear that the company will press forward with this disastrous project at any moment. People worldwide are now asking Noranda to cancel the project once and for all.

What can you do?

Go to and send an aluminum can (regular or crumpled, you pick!) and letter to Noranda President and CEO Derek Pannell, calling on him to make a public statement at this year's Annual General Meeting to definitively CAN the project.

Please send a can and e-petition by April 26 2004 2004, in time for Noranda's Annual Shareholders Meeting


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