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(Mineweb.com) As the world reads of Chilean protests, impacts on Andean glaciers, and the political rhetoric surrounding the upcoming Presidential campaign in Chile, Barrick Gold and the local people who actually live near the planned Pascua-Lama gold and silver project are quietly making Chilean mining history.
The Pascua-Lama project encompasses two nations with most of the mining taking place in Chile. Barrick hopes to begin work on the mine in January. First, however, Barrick must comply with the requirements of COREMA, the Chilean Government's regional board of its national environmental commission, CONAMA. And, the Canadian mega-gold miner must also assuage the concerns of the communities surrounding the project.
A team of Barrick managers and the water users in the Huasco Valley have very quietly taken the unprecedented step of agreeing to an agreement protocol which gives the water users the ability to review the Pascua-Lama project with their own technical experts, and submit their own proposals. Nothing in Chilean law required Barrick to participate in this pre-agreement, nor does any community group or indigenous peoples own the land …