Peruvian government to negotiate with communities opposing Glencore’s copper project

The Antapaccay copper mine (pictured) is also controlled by Glencore and is located near the city of Espinar. (Image courtesy of Glencore).

Peru’s Ministry of Environment and the southern Espinar province set up a dialogue process with the goal of finding solutions to the social and environmental problems people say mining operations are causing in the area.

In detail, the vice-minister of environment, Elizabeth Silvestre, met with representatives from 11 farming communities that want to be included among those directly affected by the Coroccohuayco project.

Coroccohuayco is a copper and gold operation managed by Antapaccay, a subsidiary of Glencore plc. The property is near the company’s Tintaya operation and has reserves of 290Mt at 1.03% copper and the capacity to produce 100,000t/y.

According to the people of Espinar, if developed, the mine will pollute their environment and particularly their sources of fresh water which, they say, are already affected by other mining operations.

Among the 11 communities, five announced that they will launch a strike action on April 20, 2022, to push president Pedro Castillo to visit Espinar and tend to their demands.

Despite the possible protest action, the Ministry of Environment has promised to work together with the presidency of the Ministers’ Council and with other relevant ministries to properly discuss the issues impacting Espinar and promote the sustainable development of the province.

Not the first time

This is not the first time that the Coroccohuayco project has caused community strife.

In October 2021, Antapaccay announced that it wasn’t planning to execute the project in the short term because it has caused nearby residents to protest and block the road used to transport its copper.

At the time, Glencore’s subsidiary said in a statement that they support having a consultation process before deciding to build Coroccohuayco.

“The project is still in the design and viability studies phase, and its development will depend on the results of those analyses,” the company said.