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.

Hydroelectric Power
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.

Nuclear Energy
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

Other Alternatives
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.