Argentina last polled its mining sector a decade ago but this month some results from a census carried out in 2016 were made public. The Indec document available online says that over 1,500 mining companies were operating in Argentina in 2016. Their extractive activities generated US$ 1,329 million while their processing activities generated US$ 2,386 million.
Ninety per cent of the operations take place at open pit mines with metallic minerals making up 73.1% of the production. Gold and silver take the lead in this segment, as they are responsible for 49.9% and 14% of the production, respectively.
Aggregates, on the other hand, contribute 23.2% to overall production and non-metallic minerals 3.7%. Within the non-metallic minerals segment, most of the production is focused on pure sodium chloride and halite.
Although most companies' headquarters are located in Buenos Aires and Cordoba provinces, Santa Cruz, Catamarca and San Juan were, altogether, responsible for 70.5% of the production.
In terms of employment, the census revealed that the Argentine mining sector provided jobs to 40,129 people.