Peoples’ struggles against Minera Alumbrera have become very active this past month in northern Argentina. The protests are aimed at shutting down the mine, and against the lifting of a judicial order prohibiting any activity in the Agua Rica project area. Mining opponents were heartened last month when the governor of La Rioja Province suspended Montreal-based Osisko Mining Corp’s gold-mine project in the Famatina region due to stiff resistance from environmental activists and local residents.
The battle lines quickly shifted to neighbouring Catamarca Province, where residents of the town of Andalgala threw up roadblocks to Anglo-Swiss miner Xstrata PLC’s Alumbrera copper-gold mine and its nearby Agua Rica project. Police clashed with activists last week when clearing the roads and now groups of mining supporters have put their own roadblocks in place to stop reporters and more activists from entering Andalgala.