Socio-environmental issues related to mineral exploitation in the Andes

Aitken, D; Godoy-Faundez, A; Rivera, D; Restrepo-Baena, Oscar; Mcintyre, N


The Andes mountain range is home to some of the World’s largest and most important mineral reserves such as copper (590 Mt of resources), molybdenum (20 Mt), silver (250,000 t) and gold (13,000 t) (Cunningham et al. 2008). These resources have brought considerable wealth to many of these areas and have helped in alleviating poverty but mining remains a controversial activity, which in certain cases has divided society and has caused large scale environmental impacts (Paredes 2016). This chapter investigates the socio-environmental impacts of mineral exploitation in selected Andean countries with a particular focus on water resources. Specific issues such as local hydrology, community engagement and technological advancement are investigated and discussed with respect to each country.

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Fecha de publicación: 2017