Mining in Argentina
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (July 2012)|
In 2003 the value of nonfuel mineral production totaled $1.1 billion, of which copper concentrate alone accounted for $467 million.
Argentina was the third-largest Latin American producer of aluminum in 2003, producing 271,932 metric tons; one of six Latin American producers of mine lead and zinc, ranking second to Mexico in lead; and the fourth-largest producer of silver in Latin America.
Mine copper production in 2003 totaled 199,020 metric tons, up slightly from 2001’s output of 191,566 metric tons, but down from 2002’s level of 204,027 metric tons. Almost all copper production was from Minera Alumbrera, operating from the Bajo de la Alumbrera open pit mine, in Catamarca Province, since 1998.
Gold production in 2003, mostly from the Bajo de la Alumbrera and the Cerro Vanguardia mines, totaled 29,744 kg, down from 32,506 kg in 2002.
Silver and lead
The country’s total silver mine output for 2003 was 133,917 kg, down from 152,802 kg, in 2001. In 2003, zinc mine production totaled 29,839 metric tons, down from 2001’s total of 39,703 metric tons. In that same year lead mine output totaled 12,079 metric tons down slightly from 12,334 metric tons in 2001.
In 2003, Argentina produced 545,304 metric tons of crude boron materials, ranking third in the world, after the United States and Turkey; the 1999 and 2000 totals were 245,450 and 512,624 metric tons, respectively.
Among other industrial minerals, output in 2003 for limestone was 8,119,879 metric tons; dolomite, 320,116 metric tons; crushed quartzite, 284,503 metric tons; crushed quartz, 100,000 metric tons; talc, 1,759 metric tons; bentonite, 128,406 metric tons; diatomite, 24,946 metric tons; feldspar, 88,427 metric tons; crude gypsum, 387,936 metric tons; kaolin, 10,653 metric tons; and salt, 1,156,023 metric tons. The country also produced marble, clays, celestite, sodium carbonate, asbestos, barite, and vermiculite. Asphaltite, fluorspar, mica, manganese, and antimony are found mainly in the northwest. There are also deposits of lithium, beryllium, and columbium.