National and World

Environmentalists are protesting against the Uruguayan agreement by the mining project of Aratiri

February 10, 2014 3:31 pm

Montevideo, Feb 10 (Entravision) .- Hundreds of environmental activists protested in Montevideo today against the imminent signing of an agreement between the Uruguayan government and mining company he stated Ferrous which will enable Aratiri mining project, a giant iron mine open pit which will be located in the heart of the country.

Before an unusual security measures, cordoned off a block environment to the headquarters of the Presidency of the Republic, the demonstrators, mostly young people, expressed their rejection both the project and the ways in which it is developing the signature of the same and warned of the environmental damage and lack of real benefits to the Uruguayans who will have its commissioning.

“We hope that we will sign the contract, which is protected by an unconstitutional law, passed by the Parliament only votes with backers and urgency because the mining company had urgency”, told EFE German Parula, Assembly of the Pachamama Uruguay, one of the convenors of the mobilization.

Parula As pointed out, the draft Aratiri wants to develop in an area “fertile and productive” and generate approximately damage “unacceptable” without there being anything that might compensate for if finally starts running.

The mining project plans to invest more than $1,000 million in a mining complex of 6,210 hectares, a slurry pipe of 212 kilometers and a port terminal in the Atlantic Ocean to export 18 million tons of iron ore per year.

In a first time, the agreement was going to close in 2011, but environmentalists and political pressures forced the Government to amend the mining laws to suit a project on an unprecedented scale in the country.

The new rule, adopted last year, sets new standards of environmental and social management and utilization of the tax revenue earned by the sale of the mineral.

According to the Government and the company, the project will generate large economic benefits and quality employment in the area, today dedicated to livestock, and could lead to an increase in the industry in the country.

However, Parula for this capability to develop a local industry taking advantage of the mineral “does not exist”, as the country does not have capacity to do so in the short term, while i doubt the government’s plans to say that Aratiri will leave 50 per cent of its profits in the country through taxes and royalties.

“It is an illusion. Mining companies in Latin America do not leave more than 20 per cent of their earnings in canyons and here say that it will leave the half. It is surprising,” he added.

In addition, I also have doubts about the creation of jobs, as other large investments in the country, as the paper mill of UPM, also promised much and “today employ less than 200 people”.

“We don’t believe in this type of growth, and the history of America in this regard has coached us pretty well,” said Parula.

Just today the directory of the opposition National Party (conservative), spoke out against the signing of the convention by Aratiri, and demanded that the government respect the law and the procedures before you do anything similar.