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Argentine lawmakers pass glacier law to curb mining

Source:  Copyright 2010, Reuters
Date:  September 30, 2010
Original URL: Status ONLINE

Argentina's Senate passed a law on Thursday that curbs mining on the nation's glaciers, a measure praised by environmentalists but criticized by supporters of the industry as a deterrent to investment.

Senators approved the law with 35 votes in favor and 33 against after hours of debate, eventually agreeing to accept changes made in the lower house that pro-mining provinces had opposed.

President Cristina Fernandez, who angered green campaigners by vetoing a similar law two years ago, has indicated she will sign the law this time around. She blocked it previously on the grounds it would hamper the growth of provincial economies.

Analysts say it could make it more expensive or even impossible for the world's biggest gold producer Barrick Gold Corp to develop the huge Pascua Lama site high in the Andes, although the company says the ore body it has permission to mine does not lie on a glacier.

Mining-friendly provincial governments ...

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