Mendoza proposes drawing up mining map

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The governor of Argentina's Mendoza province, Julio Cobos, has asked authorities from a number of municipalities in the province to prepare reports detailing mining prospects in the territory.

The initiative seeks to draw up a map of environmentally sustainable mining development in the province, the Mendoza government reported on its website.

The mining map also aims "to preserve water resources in the province, taking into account that economic development should always look at the residents' quality of life," Mendoza government minister Sergio Marinelli said in the statement.

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The municipal reports, to be presented to provincial authorities in 15 days, must include input from civil society organizations and business chambers, with special focus on public opinion in each area in terms of mining development.

The initiative comes on the heels of comments made to BNamericas by Patricio Jones, president of the Argentine subsidiary of Canada's Tenke Mining (TSX: TNK) Deprominsa, that miners operating in Mendoza face an uncertain future even after legislation aimed at suspending the activity was rejected by local government officials.

"In the end, the bill was rejected and passed on to a commission, which is a way of boxing it in, delaying it," Jones said. "It was taken as the first small victory on the part of mining companies in Mendoza but it is something very relative," he added.