It may bring a fortune for the multinational mining companies, but what impact does it have on local communities and the environment? [GALLO/GETTY]

Director Rodrigo Vazquez filmed activists Gabriela Romano, Jenny Lujan and Marcela Crabbe as they fight to stop multinational mining companies exploiting the Andean Mountain range.

Here he describes the impact one Canadian mining company with an interest in Argentina's gold reserves has had a little closer to home.

Osisko Mining Corporation, one of the seven multinational mining companies ready to exploit the Famatina Mountain in Argentina, has already destroyed the lives of many people elsewhere.

Thirty-five-year-old Ken Masse is one of those people.

When Osisko wanted to purchase all the homes in his community in Malartic, Quebec, because they are located on top of a gold deposit, Masse was the only person to hold out from selling.

The other 204 residents of his community were relocated, but, determined not to allow the multibillion mining project to go ahead, Masse refused to budge, explaining that his battle was "not about money, but about protecting property rights and the environment from a massive open pit mine".

Representing his mother, who owns the property, Masse was due to go to court next month to fight a government expropriation order. But Osisko requested an emergency ruling and the court made its decision last week.

Robert Dufresne, the superior court justice, ruled that: "Masse's house is holding back key preparation work for the mining project, set to exploit one of Canada's largest gold reserves."

Masse was ordered to evacuate his home and the family will now only receive market value for their property, which will be determined by a provincial tribunal, along with moving costs.

Masse still refused to move, but was handcuffed and ultimately forced out by the police. He is now planning to file an appeal with the United Nations. He is also in the process of organising a sit-in with other townspeople to stop further development of the mining site.
Nobody wants any of that to happen where they live, but multinationals put their profits before people's rights. The only way to affect their decisions is to resist. After 10 years of campaigning against these corporations, I can tell you that what works in order to stop them is to increase the social and financial cost of their exploitations, until they cease to be financially sound.

Only then will a corporation leave. The plea for safe drinking water will not change their minds, but the loss of money will. This is why multinationals must be stopped before they destroy the environment and our lives. And in order to stop them, we need you, now, more than ever, because we are running out of time.

Source: Al Jazeera