FACTS ON ARGENTINA
Minning And Power
Argentina has a large mining stockpile and important power resources. However,
operation at a large scale is still an unachieved goal.
Mining basically tends to the extraction of fuels, non-metalliferous and metalliferous
minerals. The limitations of the domestic market; the lack of capitals for
prospecting, technology and infrastructure; the distance of the main metal
fields from the industrial centers, plus the fall of the international prices,
do not foster its development. Metalliferous Minerals The total metal output
is 280,000 tons per year, iron accounting for a 60 per cent. The raw material
is extracted and processed in Zapla Blast Furnaces and in the Sierra Grande
metal field in Río Negro, which is inactive but will start operating
again by mid-1996, when it is privatized. Zinc is extracted in Jujuy and in
Ángela mine, Chubut, and is exported to Japan, China, the Netherlands,
Singapore and Pakistan.
Lead and silver are also obtained in Jujuy and, to a lesser degree, in Chubut,
Mendoza and Salta.
In Río Turbio, Santa Cruz, coal is produced and then used for furnace
coke and power. The coal output decreased to 200,000 tons per year during
the last years. In 1907 the oil production in Comodoro Rivadavia began. The
sedimentary basins in Argentina have a surface of 675,678 sq. mi. (1,750,000
km2) and are situated in the North-west, Cuyo, Neuquén and Magallanes.
The crude oil production per year is 30 million cubic meters. The main refineries
are: La Plata, Campana, Dock Sud, San Lorenzo, Campo Durán, Plaza Huincul
and Comodoro Rivadavia.
Rivers became an important power supply, giving rise to the construction of
hydroelectric dams. The most important ones are those of Salto Grande, Chocón
Cerro Colorado, Futaleufú and Yaciretá, which is still unfinished.
When the works for the latter are over, it will allow savings for 4 million
tons of oil per year.
Since 1950 there was an approach to this power alternative with the establishment
of the Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica (CNEA, Nation
Commission of Atomic Power). In 1974, Atucha I atomic plant started to operate
in Zárate, with a capacity of 319,000 kilowatts. It was the first in
Latin America. In 1983, the second plant, Embalse Río III, was inaugurated,
with a power of 600,000 kilowatts. Atucha
Solar energy development is used for night lighting, desalting of subterranean
water and electrical power in several points around the country. Aeolian energy
coming from wind mills are used for the extraction of subterranean waters
and the lighting of whole towns.