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Río Negro passes bill banning cyanide use, Argentina

Published by MAC on 2005-07-21

Río Negro passes bill banning cyanide use, Argentina

21 July 2005

The legislature of Argentina's southern province of Río Negro has passed a bill banning cyanide and mercury use in metallic minerals mining, production and industrialization.

After hours of discussions, the legislation was approved, with 38 lawmakers voting in favor and three representatives of the 17 de Noviembre party against, the province legislature said in a statement.

"With the new law advanced by governor Miguel Saiz, companies or individuals who own first category mineral deposit concessions or those who industrialize the minerals must adapt their processes to the new regulation," the statement said.

The law was approved despite efforts by a group of opposition lawmakers who proposed that international quality certification ISO 14001 be required for mining activities using cyanide.

Now that the law has been enacted as planned by the province's executive branch, "there will be suits filed because companies will claim the right to the protection the mining code entitles them to," federal mining director Miguel Ángel Guerrero said previously.

Central government authorities have been trying to convince the province to analyze its proposal in depth as some believe this is a case of the latter trying to impose a regulation not included in national law.

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