Argentina’s Senate has passed a bill to curb mining near the nation’s glaciers to protect water supplies.

The bill prohibits mining near glaciers along Argentina’s 5,000km border with Chile.

It also sets standards for protecting glaciers and periglacial areas and will penalise companies that pollute or damage ice fields.

The bill will be made into law after President Cristina Fernandez approves it.

The law might pose a problem for Barrick Gold, which is developing a $3bn Pascua Lama project in the Andes along the Argentine-Chilean border.