Monday, March 21, 2011

Honeymoon After Chicken Pox

Controversy over mining royalties

Rumbo October / Gioja The re-election bid amid the debate
The opposition accuses the governor to have weakened state controls over what companies
Marcelo Veneranda
Special Envoy / THE NATION
The governor's reelection bid José Luis Gioia and the confrontation that broke out with his brother, U.S. Sen. Caesar Gioja, relocated to the fore the debate on royalties that provide multinational mining companies operating in San Juan and legal reforms Gioja administration of limiting the powers of control of the state itself. In

the interview published yesterday The Nation, Sen. Gioja (
now criticizes mining laws successfully defended)
suggested that royalties were mobile, as the international price.
For that, and as demanded by the local opposition, it is necessary to change the national law created under President Carlos Menem, which sets a ceiling of 3% in royalties that can charge the provinces, as well as large customs and tax exemptions.

Under the cap, and as he told La Nacion the governor, the province received 250 million pesos in royalties in 2010.

opponents like Rep. Mauricio Ibarra national and local leaders Miguel Arancibia Ricardo Basualdo and distrust of the numbers provided by Gioia.

"The Barrick paid only 220 million pesos in royalties over the past four years, barely covering the 50 million annual budget expenditures for the governor's office" , Ibarra said.
Few opponents speak in the province to ban open pit mining, question by using large quantities of cyanide and jeopardize the quality of water, a precious resource for the arid localities.
South Project, led by Alfredo Carlos Avelino and Baloo, leads this position.
But even these officers agree with the rest of the opposition to report a closed-door management of economic operations of the mining, helped by recent changes in local legislation.

Loss of control in the center of this debate is the status of the local Court of Auditors, an organization that has challenged all depositions conducted by the Barrick Gold from 2006 to date and the Justice and Legislature you were removing provincial functions: it can not initiate proceedings against officials can not control the amount of royalties that go to government coffers.

Ricardo Basualdo, former director of the local mining institute, was the one who complained in 2006 that the affidavits were fabricated.

"Instead of declaring a mineral extracted in the mouth of the mine, says the law, Barrick paid royalties on what they sell, which is 50% of gold mined"
he said.
"The other 50% is lost in the process, but neither is on the hill, which is province", he added.

The court upheld their complaint.

Basualdo also stressed that in addition to take office at the court (which had begun investigations and set fines against several officials), the giojismo amended the mining law to limit state control "We do not control the volume physical of the ore, as I said before the law, so we have blind trust in corporate reporting.

-government opponents and critics polled by this newspaper shared the same resignation:
there is a "fabulous" business
where the mining is limited to enforcing the law. The annual report on its website, Barrick Gold seems to give the reason:
"It is expected that by 2011 production in the region of South America range from 1.80 and 1.935 million ounces of gold, due to lower grades at Veladero "

Ounces of Gold
Affidavit. The figure corresponds to the findings have produced Veladero Barrick Gold in 2010.
a fortune. Each ounce is trading at about $ 1400, yielding a total of U.S. $ 1,568,000,000. Low

royalties. The province receives only 3%, which totals $ 250 million. -----------------------------------------

San Juan, 24 February 2011 .-

Greenpeace reiterated yesterday the case against the mining multinational Barrick Gold to fend off enforcement of glaciers, through judicial remedies that prevent their full implementation.

Thus, Greenpeace came out against statements made by executives of Barrick, then claim the full enforcement of Glaciers, by activists, neighbors and citizens' assemblies in San Juan, which ended yesterday in a forced eviction of the two protest camps mounted on the private road access Veladero mining complex and Pasqua Lama and the detention policy director of the environmental, Eugenia Testa.

"The multinational argues that its activities do not affect the glaciers, which is absolutely contradictory to the promotion of an appeal, which is used when a person or entity is affected by a rule ", said Juan Carlos Villalonga, Greenpeace campaigns director of Argentina. Greenpeace's claim was supported by San Juan's social organizations, neighbors and citizens' assemblies convened for tomorrow at 10 to a movement from the provincial legislature to protest "the criminalization of protest to defend life, the actions of the transnational Barrick Gold and the provincial government of complicity Gioja and National Government. "
Meanwhile, more than 40 000 people had participated through Thursday, through the website of Greenpeace ( in the online petition addressed to the multinational mining to stop blocking the law of glaciers.

Moreover, Greenpeace came out against statements by the directors of Barrick on the course during the protest prevented access to the hospital supplies mounted on the mining complex: "Barrick lie, never put at risk the safety of workers because their facilities are equipped to operate for long periods without the daily replenishment of supplies, "said Villalonga.
Greenpeace's claim was so peaceful, as usual practices of the organization is non-violence as one of its founding principles and is financed only with the support of individuals, not accept donations or pressure from governments, political parties or businesses.


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