Peru’s mining conflicts made country’s total social issues climb to 225 in May

Peru’s ombudsman office, Defensoría del Pueblo, published a report (in Spanish) showing that three new mining conflicts arose in the country last month, taking the nation’s social problems  up to a staggering 225, just in May.

From the total, at least 76% social conflicts are still ongoing, said the authority, while the rest are controlled but not solved.

Socio-environmental struggles were the most numerous, with 149 cases (66.2% of the total) related to mining activities (108 cases) and hydrocarbon projects (19 cases).

The body warned about the situation in the gold-rich Cajamarca region, where the world’s number two gold producer, Newmont Mining (NYSE: NEM), continues to struggle with its $4.8 billion gold-copper Conga project.

Construction at the debated mine, in partnership with local miners Buenaventura and Minera Yanacocha, has been suspended for over a year after violent protests and blockades routes in and out of Cajamarca forced the government to declare a state of emergency in more than one occasion.

Conga is set to begin production in early 2015, but last April Newmont stressed willingness to reallocate capital to projects in other countries such as Australia, Ghana, Indonesia and the US.

The mine will be capable of producing up to 350,000 ounces of gold and 120 million pounds of copper per annum with a 19-year life of mine.

(Image: Anti-Conga protest, by NewsLIVE)