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Oct 13 / Dave Schumaker

Large Amounts of Gold Buried Beneath Chilean Glaciers

Gold NuggetOne of the world’s largest unmined deposits of gold lay beneath a series of glaciers at 15,000 feet in the Andes Mountains. However, a company from Toronto named the Barrick Gold Corporation wants to change that. However, in order to reach the gold deposits they must chisel their way through a large glacier. Naturally, environmentalists are not happy.

Environmental activists in the Chilean capital, Santiago, dumped buckets of crushed ice this year outside the local headquarters of the Canadian mining company Barrick Gold Corp. In June, thousands marched in Santiago and the northern Chilean city of Vallenar, shouting slogans such as “We are not a North American colony” and handing out nuggets of fool’s gold emblazoned with the words oro sucio — “dirty gold.”

The ever-louder protests have drawn Chile’s National Congress into the fray. In August, a parliamentary commission began considering a law that would protect the country’s glaciers from commercial activities, though it has yet to pass any legislation.

Pascua Lama Glaciers
Pascua Lama Glaciers

However, with the price of gold rapidly increasing the past few years, the desire to mine these large, untapped deposits will only get stronger. Will Chile bow to the corporate and economic interests? More info from MiningWatch.

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