They hold the company Livent responsible for the overturning of a truck with polluting chemical products, in the province of Catamarca.
The Ministry of Mining of the province of Catamarca, in Argentina, is investigating the spill of 20,000 liters of acid produced by the overturning of a truck belonging to the company Minera del Altiplano SA-Livent, which operates the mine called Proyecto Fenix, located in the Salar del Hombre Muerto in the department of Antofagasta de la Sierra, in the northwest of the country.
The incident occurred on February 4. According to preliminary information, the vehicle overturned 15 kilometers from the lithium mine managed by the US firm, leaving the chemical product destined for the company’s supplies on the ground.
According to the local Mining Minister, Marcelo Murua, after the spill the security protocols were activated and the company activated the emergency areas to be able to act. Now, the Government analyzes all the documentation presented to determine what measures will be taken.
“According to the photographic record, the overturning of the vehicle and the spill of a dangerous substance is confirmed, it brought acid and it is being investigated to find out how it was acted at the time,” Murua said last Monday during a meeting on the exploitation of lithium in the province, reported the local newspaper El Ancasti.
The official assured that if the operators did not adapt to the protocols, “There may be fines.”
According to the mining company, “the road accident occurred at approximately 9:30 p.m. (February 4), on the embankment, 2 kilometers from the Los Hornos police station. A Scania tanker truck from Campo Quijano overturned at the scene. bound for the Phoenix Project, due to road conditions and heavy rains in the area”.
Neighbors in the area have been denouncing constant polluting events in the region by local and transnational mining companies. Evelyn Vallejos, a member of the Nuestramerica Popular Movement in Catamarca, told the Barricada TV channel that the companies that operate in the area “they do what they want”, and remarked that 12 days have passed since the incident and it is still not known what type of acid was spilled on the ground. Neither is the area affected nor the environmental damage caused known.
Beyond this episode, Livent has several complaints for environmental and economic irregularities that affect the province. Videos filmed by company workers circulated on social networks showing that in the plant there are polluting chemicals both on the ground and in the air. In this case it would be lithium carbonate.
Some videos of contamination from the Livent lithium mining company in Antofagasta de la Sierra (Catamarca) were leaked. It is always very difficult to access what happens inside a mining company, but in this case a worker aware of what is happening filmed it. pic.twitter.com/arjsmysb7A
— Enrique Viale (@EnriqueViale) February 14, 2023
The North American litiferous company would also be responsible for defrauding the provincial and national treasury, by under-invoicing exports to pay less taxes.
An audit of the Catamarca Collection Agency (ARCA) for the 2018 and 2019 periods revealed that while Jujuy declared a sale price of the product of just over $54 per kilo, the company that has been operating in Catamarca since 1996 did so at only $6.41. That is to say, an under-invoicing of 843%.