Canadian Mining Firm Begins Uraniam Exploration In Tourism Region Of MendozaPublished by MAC on 2006-05-22
Source: Diarios an rafael
Canadian Mining Firm Begins Uraniam Exploration in Tourism Region of Mendoza
By San Rafael, Mendoza
22nd May 2006
Residents of the department of San Rafael in Mendoza, Argentina were surprised to discover that exploration for uranium is to begin soon along rivers and creeks in this tourist region. Last Friday, owners of lands included in the prospecting ermits awarded by the Province received official notification about the initiation of exploration activities on their lands. Thus, the San Rafael community is faced with actions approved about which they have not been preiously informed previously - an issue that involves the entire population.
The exploration will begain in two of fourteen areas included in the permits awarded by the Mining Commission of Mendoza, which covers 18,500 hectares. The owners notified were the Club Nautico Los Reyunos, the rancher Nicasio Martínez, the company IGGAM SAI and the ranch Las Vertientes. The region is also home to tourist and livestock operations, activities which are incompatible with open-pit mining. But, most serious is that one of these areas is crossed by the Río Diamante which provides drinking water for a large part of the San Rafael population and irrigation gpt farmers.
The explorations will be carried out by Canadian corporation "Megauranium" (http://www.megauranium.com/) which bought the company Maple Minerals (headquartered in Canada) that last year aquired the permits of exploration from the Provincia of Mendoza.
The open pit mining of uranium threatens the future development of the Diamonte river canyon, which has a tourism potential equal to, or greater than, that of the famous Atuel Canyon. While efforts are being made to implement the Environmental Code, approved in law 6818 of September 2002, which will regulate the tourist expansion of the zone, the same government that will build Route 150 to open the region to tourism is also permitting the exporation for uranium in the sector. "On the one hand tourism is being heavily promoted, and on the other hand they support...massive open pit uranium mining," said Edgardo Di Nasso, who runs a ranch for tourists as well as livestock operations in the zone, and asks, "What kind of tourist who comes seeking peace and nature will want to stay alongside mines where there are explosions to extract uranium?"
If there is not a firm response from local leaders this situation will leave the door open for Mendoza Governer Cobos to continue ignoring us in the taking decisions which involve our territory and affect our activities and quality of life.
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