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Monday, October 4, 2010

Goldcorp (NYSE:GG), Yamana (NYSE:AUX), Barrick (NYSE:ABX), Extorre (TSE:XG) and Argentine Glacier Law

The new glacier law in Argentina, which was approved by the Argentine Senate, and which President Cristina Fernandez has said she will sign, has generated some concern for the mining industry, especially gold miners in the country.

Fortunately, most of this is posturing and show, as very little in the way of mining will be affected by the law, either now or in the future.

Companies with projects in the country like Goldcorp (NYSE:GG), Yamana (NYSE:AUX), Patagonia (OTC:PATAF) and Extorre (TSE:XG) shouldn't have any problems as all, as they don't have mines in the zone being supposedly protected.

What this does is give the appearance of the government protecting the region, when in fact there is really little to be protected because no one is mining the area.

The new law will limit any economic activity in areas close to glaciers in the country.

As far as mining exposure in Argentina, Goldcorp now has it through their recent acquisition of Andean Resources, whose flagship mine is the Cerro Negro gold-silver mine being developed in the country. That won't be affected by the new law.

Extorre Gold Mines is developing the Cerro Moro gold mine, Yamana the Agua Rica copper-gold- molybdenum mine, and Patagonia Gold PLC (OTC:PATAF) its Lomada project. All of which won't be affected by the new law.

There is one exception to this, and that is Barrick Gold Corp. and their huge Pascua Lama gold and silver mine.

Radical environmental groups have attempted to derail the project, saying the company has been destroying glaciers through their practices.

Rodrigo Jimenez, Barrick vice president of corporate affairs said, "We do not mine on glaciers and, in fact, Barrick has already implemented a comprehensive range of measures to protect them as well as other sensitive environmental areas around both the Veladero mine and the Pascua-Lama project."

It remains to be seen if environmentalists use the new law to attempt to disrupt the project. They almost assuredly will.

Barrick has began the construction of the mine after many legal battles and challenges. Now they are waiting on an agreement between between Chile and Argentina over a tax-sharing agreement, and permits.

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