Pan American operates one mine and one development project in Argentina.
Both properties are located in remote areas where the landscape is arid and characterized by low-lying mesetas or plateaus, with broad flat valleys and a few small towns with limited population. The climate is dry to arid continental and the region is well known for sustaining fierce westerly winds, in particular from August to October, when gusts can reach up to 170 kph. In this environment, Pan American has been able to attract and retain qualified employees by providing competitive compensation and benefits, as well as well-organized and comprehensive community relations programs carried out by Minera Triton, operator of the Manantial Espejo mine, and Minera Argenta, operator of the Navidad development project.
The following are some of the most important community relations initiatives currently in place in Argentina:
In Chubut, Minera Argenta continually supports local health centres. They have updated and built an extra wing in the local hospital at Gobernador Gregores, and donated machinery, medication and a blood test and donor centre, the first and only blood facility in the region.
A key factor in our sustainable development program in Santa Cruz is the “Fundación Agencia de Desarrollo de Gobernador Gregores”. Since we created the agency back in 2007, Pan American Silver Argentina made voluntary royalty-like payments to be managed by the Agency. These funds are administered by a committee whose members include authorities from the municipality, representatives of Gobernador Gregores’ agricultural sector. Funds are generally used for micro-loans to entrepreneurs and small infrastructure projects. In 2013 the Agency held funds of CDN $1.4 million and actively financed the following projects:
Due to changes in the royalty payment system in Santa Cruz, Pan American Silver Argentina no longer contributes in the form of royalties to the Agency, however some direct lump-sum funding is anticipated for 2014.