In a report published on July 19, the Argentine branch of the environmental group Greenpeace charged that operations by the Toronto-based Barrick Gold Corporation in the Andes at the border with Chile had already significantly damaged three small glaciers. Citing a 2005 technical study, Greenpeace said the surface of the Toro 1, Toro 2 and Esperanza glaciers “diminished by between about 56% and 70% because of the activities carried out by Barrick” even before mining operations had begun. The regions on either side of the border are arid, and farmers in the valleys largely depend on Andean glaciers as a source of water.
Barrick Gold is the world’s largest gold producer, in which a number of UK-based funds invest (see