Home » Argentine Gold Mine Shutdown Sparks Call for Reopening

Argentine Gold Mine Shutdown Sparks Call for Reopening

Suppliers in Argentina urge gold mining company Newmont to resume operations at the Cerro Negro mine following a fatal accident

by Victor Adetimilehin

The mine, operated by Newmont subsidiary Oroplata S.A., shut down in April 2024 following a fatal accident that claimed the lives of two workers. Investigations are still ongoing, and details surrounding the incident remain undisclosed by both authorities and Newmont.

Suppliers Call for Resumption of Operations

The Santa Cruz Chamber of Mining Suppliers and Services (CAPROMISA), representing businesses that service the mine, issued a statement expressing condolences for the lost workers. However, CAPROMISA also urged a swift resolution to allow the mine to reopen.

“We understand the importance of mine safety and the wellbeing of employees, which are the same guidelines followed by associated companies and all the staff that work there,” a CAPROMISA spokesperson said. “Thus, we urge the mining company and other relevant parties to speed up administrative processes so that the Cerro Negro mine can reopen as soon as possible.”

The Chamber emphasized the economic hardship caused by the extended closure. Many mine workers and small and medium-sized businesses in the surrounding area depend on the mine for their livelihoods. CAPROMISA expressed a willingness to collaborate with all parties to find a solution that ensures both worker safety and economic recovery.

Cerro Negro: A Significant Economic Contributor

Cerro Negro is a major player in Argentina’s mining sector and a vital asset for Newmont. The mine generates over $500 million in annual exports, contributing significantly to the local and national economies. Newmont is currently undertaking a $540 million expansion project aimed at extending the mine’s lifespan until 2034. This project is expected to significantly boost gold production, with projections exceeding 350,000 ounces annually.

The Argentinian government faces a complex challenge in deciding the future of the Cerro Negro mine. While the economic benefits are undeniable, ensuring worker safety remains paramount. Authorities must carefully evaluate the investigation findings and determine if the mine can operate safely under stricter regulations or if further improvements are necessary before allowing operations to resume.

Transparency and Communication Key to Moving Forward

Transparency and clear communication from all parties involved will be crucial in the coming weeks. Newmont must provide a detailed account of the accident and the steps it is taking to prevent similar tragedies in the future. The Argentinian government needs to keep the public and relevant stakeholders informed about the investigation’s progress and the decision-making process regarding the mine’s future.

The Cerro Negro mine closure serves as a stark reminder of the inherent risks associated with resource extraction industries. Finding a way to resume operations safely and efficiently requires a collaborative effort from mining companies, government agencies, worker representatives, and local communities. Technological advancements in safety protocols, coupled with robust enforcement mechanisms, can potentially mitigate risks without hindering economic activity.

The future of the Cerro Negro mine remains uncertain. However, one thing is clear: prioritizing worker safety must be paramount. If a way can be found to achieve this goal while minimizing economic disruption, it would be a win for all stakeholders involved.

Source: Mining.com


You may also like

Leave a Comment

The African Miner is the vanguard of the mining industry, delivering world-class insight and news.

Latest Stories

© 2024 The African Miner. All Rights Reserved.