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Open pit mining project in Uruguay questioned in Parliament and by environmentalists

Thursday, January 16th 2014 - 09:04 UTC
Full article 14 comments

A major open pit mining project in Uruguay to extract and export magnetite (a kind of iron ore) and which the government of President Jose Mujica plans to instrument this month has been exposed to a battery of criticism because the administration refuses to show the terms of the contract and farm groups argue there is no final environment impact assessment study. Read full article


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  • Condorito

    A slurry pipeline is the fastest, most efficient and lowest impact way of getting the concentrate to port.

    I wonder if Pepe Laissez-Faire Mujica has arranged some major tax incentives for the project, like was done for the Arauco pulp mill.

    Jan 16th, 2014 - 01:13 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • redp0ll

    This project as it stands is complete mamaracho,(
    Cockup), as it stands. Is anyone on these blogs prepared to defend it?
    No environmental studies completed, no guarantee deposited and no public planning enquiry held.
    Cedulones ( prospecting licences) are issued without notifying the land owners, many of them small scale farmers
    I am not against mining per se. The local gold mine has been running for 25 years here and if anything the environment has actually benefited with the return of various native fauna and flora to the reclaimed areas.
    But activities are carefully monitored by Dinama and the local public carefully consulted on what is being done.
    In the case of Aritiri,the public are left in ignorance of the scale of the project.

    Jan 16th, 2014 - 01:19 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Stevie



    Jan 16th, 2014 - 01:27 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • redp0ll

    Sim,, Stevie

    Jan 16th, 2014 - 01:33 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Stevie

    No, redpoll
    Roll that R!


    Jan 16th, 2014 - 01:38 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • redp0ll

    Stop sniping Stevie but if you want to roll about on your rs,that's your problem!
    Frankly from your previous posts I thought our opinions coincided on this one but it would appear you have changed your mind.
    I would be most interested to read what you have to say in support of this project as it stands at present

    Jan 16th, 2014 - 01:50 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Condorito

    I would say, just get on with it. There are billions of tons of high grade ore there that won't get to port by itself.

    Pepe is doing the right thing here by brushing aside the minor details like environmental studies, cash deposits and other requirement of Uruguayan law that are only impeding progress.

    He is building on his declaration that “sometimes 'politics' are more important than legality”. I mean what is the point of being the chief executive if you can't make executive decisions.

    Pepe knows that any big mining group knows that they need to be careful with environmental issues (outside of the actual mining process) otherwise the project can be stopped and they lose out.

    He said so much in reference to the Finish pulp mill expansion when he said that the business knows better how to protect the environment than the authorities so just let them get on with it.

    Pepe's on a roll, just go with it.

    Jan 16th, 2014 - 02:07 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Stevie

    I fully agree with you on the open mines. It's a mamarrrrrrrrrracho.

    Jan 16th, 2014 - 02:10 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ynsere

    I'm not satisfied with the quality/veracity of information made available by the government so I've signed in favour of the plebiscite.

    Jan 19th, 2014 - 02:11 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • redp0ll

    @7. I agree with your dissatisfaction regarding lack of info
    However I don't like the blanket prohibition on open cast metaliferous mining
    Why? This would mean the closure of the gold mine in Mina's de Corrales which has run successfully for 25 years respecting and in some cases improving the environmental ambience
    Not only does it employ around 400 people directly,but many more secondary jobs depend on the enterprise. All of which creates tax revenue for the govt
    Apart from that the govt receives a cannon of I think 10 recent in royalties or somewhere around 5.000 ounces of gold per annum,which even at the depressed price of gold is not to be sniffed at
    What I do object to is that all this disappears into the maw of rentals generates and nothing is put by for the development of the community once the finite reserves of gold have been worked out
    You cannot compare the pulp mills with a mining enterprise. The former is a renewable resource whereas mining is not. It's a one off and so it's important that Uruguay gets the best deal both financial and environmentally possible.
    You are a Chileno. Much of the copper you produce is smelted down and refined in situ in Chile.
    As regards Aritiri, the ore would be exported raw to China when possibly it could be smelted in ROU thus creating more jobs and wealth.
    There has been zero debate on this aspect.
    If any of you are interested I will expand on this and other aspects in a future post

    Jan 19th, 2014 - 01:57 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Condorito

    @10 redpoll
    I agree with you.
    The only comparison I was drawing between the pulp mill and the mine was Pepe's message re the environment, i.e. business knows more than us so just let them get on with it.

    Regarding value adding to ore, you are correct, shipping ore is not a great model (we used to do it). But my point is, get the investment in, get the mine operating and then worry about the other issues.

    Jan 19th, 2014 - 06:52 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • redp0ll

    @11 totally disagree. If business knows best why do we have a ministry of mining or of the environment at all?
    What happens in Chile is for the Chileans to decide
    But the suspension of mining by Barrick at Pascua Lama as an environmentalist I think was the correct decision.
    The fact that the operation continues on the Argentine side of the Andean frontier is greed and totally divorced from any concern for that bit of the planet

    Jan 19th, 2014 - 07:12 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Condorito

    @12 redpoll
    “If business knows best why do we have a ministry of mining or of the environment at all?”

    Ask Pepe. He is the one breaking all the rules.

    Jan 20th, 2014 - 02:59 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • redp0ll

    Yes it's him breaking the rules

    Jan 20th, 2014 - 07:11 pm - Link - Report abuse 0

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