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Print version ISSN 1852-4418On-line version ISSN 1852-4222


HOLLMANN, María Ayelén  and  VILLALBA, Magalí. Sustainable mining in Argentina? Case: potasio Río Colorado project. SaberEs [online]. 2019, vol.11, n.1, pp.01-19. ISSN 1852-4418.

Due to the growth of Asian demand and production, Latin America is experiencing a boom in demand for commodities, which has led to an increase in exports of these goods. Argentina does not escape this context, in the case of minerals the activity exhibited an important development in the last years. While mining companies take advantage of this boom, governments are increasingly dependent on foreign investment for the extraction of these resources, as well as incomes from the activity. In this context of neo-extractivism, the Rio Colorado Potassium Project (PRC), developed by Vale, represented the largest mining enterprise in the country and the most important of its kind in South America. Budgeted at USD 6.3 billion, only 30% was executed, and since 2013 the work is paralyzed. However, in 2016, Vale takes up the feasibility study to propose a restructuring of the original design to a third of its capacity and make the plan attractive to new partners. This article analyzes PRC: origins, history, antecedents, conflicts of interest and perspectives around its potential reactivation to contribute to a serious and informed discussion on the subject. In particular, its economic, social and environmental sustainability is investigated.

Keywords : Non-renewable natural resources; Corporate Social Responsibility; Neo­extractivism.

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