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By Jorge Eduardo Romero
The Famatina is an Environmental Liability, which must be intervened to mitigate and control acid drainage, originated naturally but increased by past uncontrolled mining activity, which determines the presence of pollutants, heavy metals and ocher, which decrease quality of water, and endangers not only the health of the population, but also the presence of pollutants that are assimilated by crops, reducing the quality of derivatives and products, due to the presence of trace elements, potentially toxic that can be introduced in the food chain, and are rejected in international trade and by the food code.
Dr. Lorenzetti President of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, in his presentation on "The Environmental Challenges of the XXI Century", held at the Book Fair on Sunday April 22, proposed: "A change in the cultural, economic model and social that promotes sustainable development and I denounce the governments that adhere to declarative environmentalism, that proclaim the importance of environmental rights, but then give uncontrolled mining concessions ”.
When one analyzes what happens in our Province, one could say that this concept defines the existing problem, originating every day, a greater conflict and eliminating the possibility of solution, by ignoring the positive action of the Citizen Assemblies that fight, get involved and they mobilize for equitable sustainable development, defending Life and Water. While the Authorities practice, “declarative environmentalism”.
As long as the Responsible Authorities continue with the position of denying pollution, environmental liabilities, paying and bringing in the mercenaries of the speech, who although they do not want to, have to repeat the speech of the multinationals, continue with the trips to the mining enterprises, to observe how clean the bathrooms and bedrooms are, or how well the operators eat, and they do not give you information about the use of the water, the reagents they use and the contaminants that are dumped into the tailings and acid drains that are originate from activity.
Continue with the lack of information and the application of the Laws, dictated by themselves, which now deny it or do not apply it, such as provincial law 8355 that creates a new control figure and was never formed, or the most shameful when it was not They know of the existence of glaciers in arid zones, which are the ones that give us water resources, believing that glaciers have to be like Perito Moreno, or trying to make the speeches of the competent bodies repeat what they want to hear, denying the possibility pollution and not the reality that marks even the Mining Companies themselves, when they act in their countries of origin, which is an activity with strong impact and where control is necessary, both on the part of the state and self-control, to achieve insertion in the community and obtain the Social License, with the participation of the community that allows mitigating and / or eliminating negative impacts, especially on health, if this is not fulfilled, the Right to prohibit any activity that causes irreversible and uncontrolled damage.
The Famatina a machine to prevent
In 1996 an updated compilation of all the works and research carried out by numerous authors and Public and Private departments on Famatina was presented with the title, Geology of the Famatina System, edited by doctors Gilberto Aceñolaza, Alejandro Toselli and H. Miller. This work is essential for the recognition of the numerous studies that exist, and to deny the official discourse that there is no knowledge about this important mining geological district, when they tell us that if it were not for Osisko's magnanimity, we do not know what we have. And all those who oppose it is because they want to continue in the stone age, or they are the Barbarism with which Sarmiento characterized, those who defended federalism and the Homeland.
When one reads the chapter, "El Famatina en la Historia" by Dr. F. Aceñolaza, one becomes aware of the mining operations carried out, which left an anthropogenic environmental liability, increasing the existing natural liability due to its mineralization and the action of water.
At the same time, it allows analyzing the lack of continuity in its exploitation, and its use as a negotiated one, such as the one prepared by Rivadavia, or the realization of pharaonic investments, such as the rail cable, which did not fulfill their mission. This increased in the nineties, when it was managed as a mining real estate company and none of the fabulous launches and contracts were materialized, which were signed with multinationals and which now continue, creating false expectations and "the death of hope" so many times declaimed.
This management of Famatina as a business for a few, is what transforms it into a machine to prevent, for the true development of the controlled mining activity, and with the acceptance of the community, in our Province, in regions of the Cordillera, Pre Cordillera and Sierras Pampeanas, where the negative impact and pollution can be mitigated, with the application of more rational exploitation methods that act, as development poles, for other activities without colliding with the use of water and its possible pollution, with the use of the numerous metalliferous and nonmetallic deposits and application rocks, described in numerous works, such as the annals xx of 1983 “The Nonmetallic Mineral Deposits and Application Rocks of the NOA Region by Isidoro Schalamuk, Raúl Fernández and Ricardo Etcheverry, or the important work of SEGEMAR from 2011, the Atlas of Associations for Genetics of Menas, by Susana Segal and Sabrina Crosta, which describe the paragenesis of numerous deposits in the Province of La Rioja. Among them the La Mejicana district, in Famatina, as high sulfur gold deposits or of the quartz-alunite type. As well as the chapter on "The Mineralization of the Famatina System". From Brodtkorb, Milka, Schalamuk, Isidoro, Marcos Osvaldo, and Sardi, Fernando, on Page 359, from the book, Geology of the Famatina System.
These works allow to deny the version repeated by the Authorities, that there are no studies, that nothing is known, and those who "oppose Osisko, prevent knowledge as truly ignorant."
What to do
The Famatina is an Environmental Liability, which must be intervened to mitigate and control acid drainage, originated naturally but increased by past uncontrolled mining activity, which determines the presence of pollutants, heavy metals and ocher, which decrease quality of water, and endangers not only the health of the population, but also the presence of pollutants that are assimilated by crops, reducing the quality of derivatives and products, due to the presence of trace elements, potentially toxic that can be introduced in the food chain, and are rejected in international trade and by the food code. As established in the preliminary study carried out and presented in the minutes of the 7th Chilean Geological Congress, p. 613 with the title "Environmental Implications of the Biogeochemical Study of the Sierra de Famatina" by Fernández - Turiel, RossiJ.N, Aceñolaza P., Medina M.E, Saavedra J, López J, Querol X, López- Soler A, and Toselli A.
To continue with these basic studies, to mitigate the negative impacts, and eliminate the possibilities of contamination of the water resource, are the tasks that it is necessary for the competent Institutions and Organizations to develop and not that they continue to repeat and defend the position of the multinationals and the owners of power, with the YES to uncontrolled mining, or what is worse, the lie disguised as the truth of declarative environmentalism.
Machiavelli in his book The Prince says: "I judge it impossible to describe contemporary things without offending many" I hope this is not taken as an offense, but as a contribution to achieve the Province that we all long for.
Jorge Eduardo Romero - Geologist