Julian Rooney, the former vice-president of Xstrata, has his appeal rejected and has his assets seized by the Federal Court of Appeals in Tucuman, Argentina, whilst he awaits trial for charges of environmental contamination.1 The case has spent 12 years working its way through the Argentine legal system [link to 2012 entry], but there is now a real prospect of justice for Carlos and Miguel Aranda, the brothers who first brought case against the mine. The CEO of Minera Alumbrera, Raúl Pedro Mentz, and the legal counsel, Michael Harvy Lou Holmes, will also be tried.
Although Minera Alumbrera has now reached the end of its planned lifetime, Glencore has signed an agreement with Goldcorp and Yamana Gold to integrate its infrastructure – including the leaking mineral pipeline that is the subject of the legal battle – with the neighbouring Agua Rica project. These plans have been fiercely resisted by local communities, who have managed to stop plans, for now, by getting a ban on open pit mining in the region passed .2
1 “Confirman el procesamiento del gerente general de Minera Alumbrera por contaminación ambiental,” Las Noticias del Ministerio Público Fiscal, November 17, 2020, https://www.fiscales.gob.ar/fiscalias/confirman-el-procesamiento-del-gerente-general-de-minera-alumbrera-por-contaminacion-ambiental/
2 Ricardo Serruya, “Andalgalá: las mineras contaminan, la Justicia duerme,” Revista Cítrica, March 5, 2019, https://revistacitrica.com/aldalgala-las-mineras-contaminan-la-justicia-duerme.html