Study: Barrick's Veladero mine has improved economy of Argentina’s San Juan province for nearly a decade

Apr 5, 2013 10:25 AM ET

Barrick’s Veladero mine has helped trigger a remarkable economic turnaround in Argentina’s San Juan province, according to a recent study. Between 2004 and 2011, the province’s unemployment rate fell 36 percent, and per capita income surged 177 percent to $5,260 from $1,900. Exports jumped 12-fold to $2.5 billion from $211 million, and the province’s manufacturing sector grew at an average annual rate of 13.5 percent, twice the national average.

“Veladero has made an enormous economic contribution in San Juan,” says Alfredo Lasalvia, lead author of a study by the Universidad Tecnológica Nacional (UTN) that measured Veladero’s socioeconomic impact on San Juan. “Economic growth in San Juan outpaced every other province in Argentina between 2007 and 2010, and Veladero played a big part in that. We estimate the mine contributes about 34 percent to San Juan’s GDP.”