In 1995 the Argentinian Congress passed law No 24.585 to amend the Mining Code and incorporate environmental provisions. Specifically, this law adds a new title that refers to the protection of the environment in mining activities.
Law 24.585 applies to all legal or natural persons, public and private, centralised and decentralised entities and companies of the National, Provincial, and Municipal states that are engaged in the activities of (i) prospecting, exploration, exploitation, development, preparation, extraction, and storage of mineral substances; or (ii) the processes of crushing, grinding, processing, pelletising, sintering, briquetting, primary processing, calcination, smelting, refining, sawing, carving, polishing, and others that may arise from new technologies and the disposal of waste whatever its nature (article 4).
The entities and persons obligated by this law must present an Environmental Impact Assessment to the authority for its evaluation. This assessment shall be submitted before initiating any activity and must comply with the following requirements:
- Concerning the prospecting stage, the assessment must describe the type of actions that will be carried out and the eventual risk of environmental impact that they could entail.
- Concerning the exploration stage, the assessment must contain a description of the methods to be used and the environmental protection measures that may be necessary.
Further, Law 24.585 also prescribes that any damages caused by an entity or person engaging in mining activities shall be mitigated or restored by the responsible party.