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Protests expected against Teck, Mitsubishi’s project in Peru

Zafranal presents the result of an environmental study at a community meeting in Arequipa. (Image courtesy of Compañía Minera Zafranal).

A group of farmers is organizing a protest against the Zafranal copper project located in the Arequipa department in southwestern Peru. 

Zafranal is a proposed open-cut mine and processing plant expected to produce copper concentrate. Canada’s largest diversified miner, Teck Resources (TSX:TECK.A | TECK.B)(NYSE:TCK), owns 80% of the property, while Japan’s Mitsubishi Materials Corporation (TYO: 5711), owns the remaining 20%. 

On Friday, October 25th, Zafranal personnel is hosting a community info session in Arequipa’s Majes El Pedregal district but those opposed to the project already announced that they will be rallying as the workshop is taking place.

According to La República newspaper, the president of the community council, Nelson Martínez, said that his people are worried about the quality of their water resources being affected by the project. In his view, the miners are not properly disclosing the impact of their activities on agricultural land.

Zafranal project area. (Image courtesy of Compañía Minera Zafranal)

Last week, another meeting organized by the companies in El Pedregal was also interrupted by a small group of activists rallying against the project.

Yet, according to Teck and Mitsubishi, Zafranal is located far away from towns and water streams, in a semi-desert area where no farming takes place. 

At present, operator Compañía Minera Zafranal is carrying out social and environmental studies around the project’s area of influence so that it can, later on, move ahead with a feasibility study, an environmental assessment and final approval by surrounding communities and shareholders.