Peru’s long-running Conga mine dispute is about to reach a turning point as international consultants appointed by the government in February finalize their report on the viability of proposed water for Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) and Buenaventura’s US$4.8 billion copper-gold project.
The independent review of the environmental impact study (EIS) for Conga was expected to be ready yesterday, but new protests in the region seemed to have delayed its release.
Over 200 people marched once again yesterday to protest against the proposed mine, which could be the largest single investment in Peruvian history.
Cajamarca’s Maoist governor Gregorio Santos, leader of the demonstrators, announced an indefinite strike in the area will start next Wednesday, provided that Conga mine gets the green light from President Ollanta Humala’s administration, informs La Tercera.
Newmont stopped construction in November last year, after violent protests in the northern Peru region.
In December, the government was forced to declare a state of emergency after boulders were used to block exits from the regional capital of more than 200,000 inhabitants, schools, hospitals and business were closed and dozens injured in clashes with police.
Opponents of the joint venture between Newmont and Buenaventura fear the Conga project will damage local lakes and taint water supplies. Conga would replace four lagoons with four engineered reservoirs, which Newmont said would increase existing water storage capacity from 1.4 million cubic metres to 3.2 million cubic metres.
200 demonstrators don’t represent Cajamarca, with a population of more than 75,000 people. The conflict is political: Santos, who is a radical communist, is against any foreign investment.
I live in Peru, and y have to add to that information that the northern people have a lot of disputes with mining over there, dispite that there are very many people who live from minig, there’s a lot of anger because of Yanacocha’s contaminating the people, land and water decades ago. Also because the goverment all those years allowed that to happen.
Ollanta Humala promissed not to contunue with this project unless they guarantee to keep all the natural enviroment pure and clean. “We will not sell our water He dais”, there’s recordings too at youtube. That happened when Ollanta was not president yet, but now he doesn’t even want to go there to show al least some concern about that issue.
Cajamarca People feel very angry about their goverment doesn’t support them.
Also there’s a problem in Madre de Dios,
Goverment want to destroy low scale mining in all the region there, of course there’s some areas that are to be preserved by law. But they want to erradicate all people from there, and because they are not well organized, goverment send the military to destroy their mechanical shovel diggers and dredges.
The problem are 2
Really estupid people who does not respect their own country and destroy the beautifull areas we have. And that goverment never supported those men and women who works there suffering from deseases and even dying, cause the work is very tuff, goverment never tried to give them roads, or police forcces or even medical support. and from one moment to another. they try to shut mining down. Oh, i forgot here the press did not said anything untill some people died during a peacefull manifestation in Puerto Maldonado. There were fights when police forces from Lima fired tear gases to the croud. The problem started months ago before those tragic events. And the press did not said a single word. What can we think…
Newmont…become organized. There are better mines in the USA…yet to be seen by you that will out do your silly little Peru crap. Your people that look over the “prospects” here in the USA, should be replaced with some fresh blood. I know of one possible site…to yield over 200 billion in copper, gold and silver…plus more….seen by, looked at in a five minutes by one of your people judging character instead of actual physical material…reports came back true to my figures quoted…and you go off to “war” in another country. Clean up your brain trusts and get a new grip with what you have in your back yard…your staff is very slow and shortsighted…replace the judgment callers. I am 75 years old, have been very successful in the mining business before for 55 plus years…I contact one of your top brass for acquisitions…am given the “BUMS RUSH” and never hear from him again. I was sent to contact you, by a very large figure in the oil and gas business…and I was told repeatedly to do so…when I did…I was shot down for a simple “try” to help you in less than five minutes.
Respectfully sent, Joe Blow
silly little Peru crap?
I understand You have lived a lot. My knowledge is not enough to talk about it, but I know how important the environment is, especially if Newmont plans to destroy lakes.
I agree with mining exploitation because my job is related to this activity in Australia, but dry lakes? is it reasonable? or is it more important to get benefits to any price?
Business and money or environment?
So , what’s your point of view on the problem in Peru with This Newmont Conga mine??
Peru is well positioned to take advantage of its mineral resources and invest in infrastructure and education, thus developing a skilled workforce to compete and excel the neighboring nations. Responsible mining that takes in to account the environmental and social consequences will most definitely benefit the country immensely.
The political parties (government and the opposition) and the people have every right to insist on such compliance from these companies. However, as long as such responsibility is demonstrated by the mining companies, we should encourage such mining as these projects will immensely benefit the local communities and the country.
I sincerely hope that sanity will prevail and people will look at the findings objectively..
It´s a political problem, mixed up with ego, selfishness and ignorance on mining activities coming from a small group ( I remember “Shining Path” a terrorism group). . I and my wife (we are peruvians) visited Yanacocha mine site in 2008. It was a beautiful mining environment and operation was really an example of social responsability. A young peruvian geologist native from Puno, who gave us a geological tour, told us that he grew up in a small town after a very poor family. He was so happy that after being educated he had a chance to work in Yanacocha mine and getting a high standard of living for his own family, besides he was helping other people to realize themselves in life. I believe this small story took place because Yanacocha’s investment . We should not abort Conga´s Mining investment, it will increase economic prosperity to poor communities in northern Peru.
If the the Enviromental and safety impact study shows that there is a risk on contaminating the area , sadly to say but I’m afraid the project won’t be able to proceed.
On the other hand , if the studies REALLY shows that no problems would arise from executing the project , I see no reason why the people from Cajamarca and specially the nearby communities shall not benefit from it.
Everybody needs a job , and the conga project will for sure provide this on a long long term