Last update:
2021-09-27

Las Vizcachitas Mining Project, Chile

In the Putaendo Valley, the local population opposes the Vizcachitas mining project, of the Canadian company Los Andes Copper, due to the socio-environmental impacts it will cause.



Description:

Since 2007, Los Andes Copper, a Canadian company based in Vancouver, has operated the Vizcachitas mining project through its Chilean subsidiary "Vizcachitas Holding.” Since 2010, it has owned 100% of the project. 

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Las Vizcachitas Mining Project, Chile
Country:Chile
State or province:Aconcagua Province (120 km north of Santiago)
Location of conflict:Las Tejas Sector, Putaendo
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Water access rights and entitlements
Wetlands and coastal zone management
Mineral ore exploration
Transport infrastructure networks (roads, railways, hydroways, canals and pipelines)
Building materials extraction (quarries, sand, gravel)
Specific commodities:Silver
Copper
Molybdenum
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The open pit mine will be located at an altitude of 2,000 meters above sea level, and 65 km from the railway in San Felipe, with connections to the Port of Ventanas and the smelter plant in Ventanas, 140 km away, and from Chagres , 90 km from the deposit. [32]

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Project area:30,800
Level of Investment for the conflictive project1,800,000,000
Type of populationSemi-urban
Affected Population:102,000 (Putaendo, San Felipe and Catemu)
Start of the conflict:2015
Company names or state enterprises:Andes Copper Ltd. from Canada - Empresa matriz del proyecto
Compañía Minera Vizcachitas Holding from Chile - Empresa filial
Relevant government actors:Environmental Impact Assessment Service
Environment Superintendency
Courts of Justice
General Directorate of Waters
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Putaendo Resists:
website: http://putaendolibre.com
website: https://www.facebook.com/PutaendoResiste
Coordinator We are all Putaendo:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/205782474764684


Neighbors on the Move for Putaendo: https://www.facebook.com/Vecinxs-en-Movimiento-por-el-Valle-de-Putaendo-100181075018903

Latin American Observatory of Environmental Conflicts (OLCA):
https://olca.cl/oca
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Pastoralists
Social movements
Women
Local scientists/professionals
Sportive and cultural groups
Forms of mobilization:Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Blockades
Boycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Refusal of compensation
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Potential: Air pollution, Food insecurity (crop damage), Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Mine tailing spills
Health ImpactsVisible: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Potential: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..), Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution, Occupational disease and accidents
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Militarization and increased police presence
Potential: Increase in violence and crime, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Other socio-economic impacts
Outcome
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Conflict outcome / response:Corruption
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Court decision (undecided)
Strengthening of participation
Project temporarily suspended
Generation of technical studies to contrast what the company is declaring
Proposal and development of alternatives:The massive organization has achieved important successes and they note the need to celebrate what has been won against the mining company since 2015. Some of the successes they highlight are:

- "The complaints we made in 2016 have prevented the Andes Copper mining company from continuing to operate and drilling from 2017 to date and we forced them to spend millions of pesos on lawyers and consultancies"

- "The knowledge and environmental awareness of our people has grown, as well as the affection for our land and heritage."

- "There are many young people, adults, workers, professionals, women and artists who join this resistance and who contribute their love for Life."

The communities have also mobilized through letters: In 2019, Putaendo Resiste sent a letter to Canadian society denouncing Los Andes Copper and asking that it help Putaendo Resiste in its efforts to get the Canadian mining company out of its territory. . “Open Letter to the Canadian public: the Canadian company “los Andes Copper ltda.” Destroy, kill, exterminate, lie and bribe in Putaendo, Chile.” https://miningwatch.ca/sites/default/files/cartaalpueblodecanada1enespanol.pdf

In 2021, they released a video “Artists from Chile for a #PutaendoSinMineras” in which well-known artists from Chile stand in solidarity with Putaendo and its resistance and inform the country and the entire continent about the potentially devastating impacts of the project on ecosystems and communities. populations. https://www.facebook.com/1735981293358305/videos/2626275477636049

Likewise, to date they have collected more than 40,000 signatures in support of “Putaendo sin Mineras”: https://www.change.org/p/no-queremos-ser-zona-de-sacrificio-ministerio-de-medio- environment-superintendence-of-the-environment-environmental-assessment-service-intendenciav-jmartinezvalpo-vizcachitas
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:It is still an open conflict and the mine is still under construction.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

Superintendencia de Medio Ambiente:
[click to view]

Ley sobre bases generales del medio ambiente:
[click to view]

[1] Presentación sobre ADVANCING CHILE’S NEXT MAJOR COPPER MINE

de TSX-V: Los Andes Copper.

Presentación corporativa el 10/05/2021
[click to view]

[2] Documento de Calificación Ambiental del proyecto "Prospección Minera Vizcachitas " por la Comisión Regional del Medio Ambiente de la V Región de Valparaíso. Resolución exenta nº 1343.

Publicada el 21/10/2008
[click to view]

[3] Articulo titulado “ Comunidad chilena presenta carta abierta al público canadiense en la oficinas de MiningWatch Canada, denuncia a empresa minera canadiense” publicado en el blog MiningWatch Canada.

Publicado el 18 de julio de 2019.
[click to view]

[4] Prensa digital de Putaendo Libre.
[click to view]

[5] Informe por parte del Observatorio Latinoamericano de Conflictos Ambientales (OLCA). “El Agresivo Lobby de Minera Andes Copper por proyecto Vizcachitas

en Putaendo, Región de Valparaíso.”

Publicado en julio de 2020.
[click to view]

[6] Articulo titulado “Vizcachitas: el megaproyecto minero que movilizó a 2 mil putaendinos en el periodo más seco de la década” escrito por Constanza Gallardo M. y Valentina Mora J. Publicado en la revista Vergara 240.

Publicado el 21 de diciembre de 2020.
[click to view]

[7] Catastro de unidades fiscalizables. Minera Vizcachitas. Sistema Nacional de Fiscalización Ambiental (SNIFA).
[click to view]

[8] Artículo titulado “Vizcachitas: el megaproyecto minero que movilizó a 2 mil putaendinos en el periodo más seco de la década” escrito por Constanza Gallardo M. y Valentina Mora J. Publicado en la revista Vergara 240.

Publicado el 21 de diciembre de 2020.
[click to view]

[9] Artículo titulado“Putaendo Primer Pueblo Libre de Chile, Putaendo no se rinde”. OLCA.

Publicado el 5 de abril de 2019.
[click to view]

[10] Documento “Voces desde el territorio. Cómo la industria minera mundial se está beneficiando con la pandemia de COVID-19”

Publicado en julio 2020.
[click to view]

[11] Artículo titulado “Ratifican fallo que anula aprobación de 350 sondajes en Putaendo para buscar yacimientos de cobre” publicado en bbcl. Escrito por Yessenia Márquez, información proveniente de Igor Ibarra Bonomelli.

Publicado el 21 de septiembre de 2021.
[click to view]

[12] Artículo titulado “Comunidad de Putaendo rechaza proyecto extractivista de minera canadiense” publicado en El Ciudadano, escrito por Mauricio.

Publicado en julio de 2021.
[click to view]

[13] Artículo titulado “Putaendo No Se Rinde” publicado en el blog de MiningWatch Canada.

Pulicado el 15 de julio de 2021.
[click to view]

[15] Articulo titulado “Mining holds the key to a green future – no wonder human rights activists are worried” escrito por Kevin Watkins publicado en The Guardian.

Publicado el 27 de junio de 2021.
[click to view]

[16] Presentación sobre ADVANCING CHILE’S NEXT MAJOR COPPER MINE

de TSX-V: Los Andes Copper.

Presentación corporativa el 10/05/2021
[click to view]

[17] Apartado titulado “Los Andes Copper Ltd. receives final molybdenum assessment results and concentrate specifications for the Vizcachitas Project” de la página web de Los Andes Copper Ltd.

Publicado el 23 de junio de 2021.
[click to view]

[18] Artículo titulado “Financial centre forecast: It’s all about green and digital” escrito por Olivier Goemans publicado en Delano.

Publicado el 22 de julio de 2020.
[click to view]

[19] Corporate Knights.
[click to view]

[20] Artículo titulado “Sustainable finance is rife with greenwash. Time for more disclosure” publicado en Economist.

Editado el 22 de mayo de 2021.
[click to view]

[21] Programa de televisión "Especiales TVS - Minería verde para el Siglo XXI" en televisión del Senado (TVS)

Publicado el 30 de Julio 2021
[click to view]

[22] Artículo titulado “Salvemos Putaendo: La última cordillera sin intervención minera”

escrito y publicado por Equipo Glaciar.

Editado el 15 de junio de 2021.
[click to view]

[23] Vídeo explicativo titulado “¿Sabias que Putaendo está bajo amenaza? Conoce las razones por las cuales no podemos permitir su destrucción. #putaendosinmineras”. Facebook.
[click to view]

[24] Petición “Exigimos un Putaendo Sin Mineras” dirigida por Agrupación Ambiental Social y Cultural Putaendo Resiste, mediante la plataforma de Change.org.
[click to view]

[24] Petición “Exigimos un Putaendo Sin Mineras” dirigida por Agrupación Ambiental Social y Cultural Putaendo Resiste. Mediante la plataforma Change.Org
[click to view]

[25] Información turística de Putaendo. Turismo en Chile.
[click to view]

[27] Concejo Municipal de Putaendo rechaza tajantemente recomendación del SEA que llama a aprobar proyecto de sondajes de Minera Vizcachitas. Municipalidad de Putaendo.

Publicado el 27 de abril de 2021.
[click to view]

[29] Artículo titulado“Putaendo Primer Pueblo Libre de Chile, Putaendo no se rinde”. OLCA.

Publicado el 5 de abril de 2019.
[click to view]

[30] Carta abierta al pueblo de Canadá. "LA EMPRESA CANADIENSE “LOS ANDES COPPER LTDA.” DESTRUYE, MATA,

EXTERMINA, MIENTE Y SOBORNA EN PUTAENDO, CHILE." Escrito por Putaendo Resiste.
[click to view]

[31] Vídeo de Artistas de Chile por un #PutaendoSinMineras. Facebook.
[click to view]

[32] ADVANCING CHILE’S NEXT MAJOR COPPER MINE

TSX-V: LA. Corporate Presentation – December 2020
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

[9] Nota de prensa
[click to view]

Video sobre la crisis del agua en el Valle
[click to view]

Putaendo Libre:
[click to view]

Artículo sobre alternativas
[click to view]

Noticia en El Ciudadano:
[click to view]

Artículo especializado: Conflictos socioambientales y territoriales en espacios rurales de la comuna de Putaendo (Chile)
[click to view]

Noticia en El Ciudadano:
[click to view]

Nota Radio U. Chile:
[click to view]

Video sobre la crisis del agua en el Valle

Movilización
[click to view]

Marc Turrel
[click to view]

Apoyo transversal de parlamentarios:
[click to view]

Other comments:website: http://putaendolibre.com
website: https://www.facebook.com/PutaendoResiste
Meta information
Contributor: Alejandro Valdes ([email protected]) y Violeta Rabi de la Agrupación Putaendo Resiste / MiningWatch Canadá
Last update27/09/2021
Conflict ID:5641
Comments
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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