Category Archives: Extractive Industries

Peru’s Conga Mine Conflict: Cajamarca Won’t Capitulate

Upside Down World

The fight over the Conga mining project is one of Peru’s largest current social conflicts.

By Lynda Sullivan

peru                   Today, the local population continues resisting the imposition of one of Latin America`s largest gold mining projects – Minas Conga. The situation remains tense, and the resistance continues, but with an intensified sense of urgency because as the battles are won and lost, many feel that the conflict is nearing its conclusion.

The struggle against the Conga project has been a long and arduous one already (1). To summarize, Conga is a 4.8 billion dollar project of Yanacocha – a company which combines the interests of Newmont mining corporation (US-based), Buenaventura (Peru) and the IFC of the World Bank. It aims to destroy the head of the water basin for the province of Celendin, and in part that of neighboring Cajamarca and Hualgayoc, leaving severe water shortage and contamination. This would prove disastrous for the mainly rural provinces of the region of Cajamarca, in the northern highlands of Peru, where the majority of dwellers live by agriculture and cattle rearing.  It would be an aggressive open pit mining project, an Earth-destroying technique that Newmont itself initiated in the early 1960s (2), and similar but more expansive than Yanacocha`s previous work in Cajamarca. For this the population rejecting the project have a fair idea of what is in store – all they need to do is look next door to the devastation that 20 years of open pit mining has left in its wake (to see more about the particulars of this devastation please see the aforementioned article). Continue reading

Peru’s Conga Mine Conflict: Cajamarca Won’t Capitulate

Upside Down World

The fight over the Conga mining project is one of Peru’s largest current social conflicts.

By Lynda Sullivan

Local people protesting  the abuse of local environment
Local people protesting the abuse of local environment

Today, the local population continues resisting the imposition of one of Latin America`s largest gold mining projects – Minas Conga. The situation remains tense, and the resistance continues, but with an intensified sense of urgency because as the battles are won and lost, many feel that the conflict is nearing its conclusion.

The struggle against the Conga project has been a long and arduous one already (1). To summarize, Conga is a 4.8 billion dollar project of Yanacocha – a company which combines the interests of Newmont mining corporation (US-based), Buenaventura (Peru) and the IFC of the World Bank. It aims to destroy the head of the water basin for the province of Celendin, and in part that of neighboring Cajamarca and Hualgayoc, leaving severe water shortage and contamination. This would prove disastrous for the mainly rural provinces of the region of Cajamarca, in the northern highlands of Peru, where the majority of dwellers live by agriculture and cattle rearing.  It would be an aggressive open pit mining project, an Earth-destroying technique that Newmont itself initiated in the early 1960s (2), and similar but more expansive than Yanacocha`s previous work in Cajamarca. For this the population rejecting the project have a fair idea of what is in store – all they need to do is look next door to the devastation that 20 years of open pit mining has left in its wake (to see more about the particulars of this devastation please see the aforementioned article).

Continue reading

In Nation’s Capital, It’s Native Americans and Ranchers vs. KXL ‘Death Warrant’

Common Dreams

‘Cowboy and Indian Alliance’ protest encampment on national mall culminates with ceremonial procession to ‘protect sacred land and water’
- Sarah Lazare, staff writer

"Reject and Protect" mobilization pictured Saturday, April 26 (Photo: Reject and Protect)
“Reject and Protect” mobilization pictured Saturday, April 26 (Photo: Reject and Protect)

Native American tribes, farmers and ranchers, and thousands of their allies flooded the National Mall Saturday with a ceremonial procession calling for President Obama to reject the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

Continue reading

U.S. Federal Court Action Requests Information from Newmont Regarding Repression of Protests at its Conga Mine Project

Earth Rights International

January 24, 2014
Contact:

Rick Herz (U.S.): (860) 233-4938, rick@earthrights.org
Benjamin Hoffman (Peru): +51-959-284295, benjamin@earthrights.org

January 24, 2014, Denver – EarthRights International (ERI) filed an action in federal court today on behalf of a protestor paralyzed by police violence at the site of Newmont Mining’s Conga mine project in Peru. ERI is seeking documents and information from Newmont to assist in pending legal proceedings in Peru related to the police repression of protestors against the Conga project.

Elmer Eduardo Campos Álvarez, a 32-year-old resident of the Cajamarca department, where the Conga project is planned, lost a kidney and his spleen and was paralyzed from the waist down on November 29, 2011, when police officers shot him in the back while he was peacefully protesting. Mr. Campos was among at least 24 protestors injured by police that day.
Continue reading

Despite Legal Attacks, Conflict Minerals Ban Gets Stronger

Carey L. Biron

Former “blood diamonds” now provide employment in Sierra Leone. Credit: Tommy Trenchard/IPS
Former “blood diamonds” now provide employment in Sierra Leone. Credit: Tommy Trenchard/IPS

WASHINGTON, Jan 8 2014 (IPS) – Major manufacturing and business groups on Tuesday urged a court here to roll back a new U.S. regulation that would soon require major manufacturers to ensure that their global supply chains are free of minerals used to fund violence in the Great Lakes region of central Africa.

Yet the previous day, Intel, the major computer hardware manufacturer, announced the world’s first product formally dubbed free of such materials, stating that its microprocessors would no longer use “conflict minerals”. The announcement highlights trends that advocates of greater supply chain accountability say are already well underway, and which they suggest belie parts of the legal case against the rule. Continue reading

Time for an Energy Change

Sisters of the Holy Child

Growing evidence of radioactive contamination in DRC

DW.de

 A view of Lubumbashi with a hill caused by smelting in the background

A view of Lubumbashi with a hill caused by smelting in the background

Human rights activists say uranium is being mined illegally in DRC. Doctors record an increase in the number of pre-birth deformities in areas close to mines.

Kimilolo is a small settlement on the banks of the Kafubu River in the south of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), just a short distance away from the provincial capital Lubumbashi. At first sight, all seems calm. Water from the river flows into artificial fishponds. For more than 10 years, human rights activist Jean-Claude Baka has been coming to the river to take water samples. The reason: more and more fish in the ponds have been dying and people in the surrounding area have been falling ill, some have died. Baka wants to find out why. He suspects the reason is radioactive contamination. But to find proof is an extremely risky business, he says. Continue reading

When to Say No

New York Times

The State Department’s latest environmental assessment of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline makes no recommendation about whether President Obama should approve it. Here is ours. He should say no, and for one overriding reason: A president who has repeatedly identified climate change as one of humanity’s most pressing dangers cannot in good conscience approve a project that — even by the State Department’s most cautious calculations — can only add to the problem.

The 875-mile pipeline avoids the route of an earlier proposal that traversed the ecologically sensitive Sand Hills of Nebraska and threatened an important aquifer. It would carry 830,000 barrels a day of crude oil from the tar sands of Alberta to pipelines in the United States and then onward to refineries on the Gulf Coast. From there, most of the fuel would be sent abroad. Continue reading

Peru: Undermining Justice

Al Jazeera

If multinationals will do anything to control the public debate, how can indigenous peoples ever assert their rights?

With global demand for natural resources increasing year on year, some of the world’s poorest communities are having to fight hard to protect their environment and way of life. When protests and direct action do not work, many will try and get redress through the courts.

But when multinational companies decide that the costs of settling such cases are far less than the huge profits on offer, is justice being undermined? Continue reading

Keystone XL decision will define Barack Obama’s legacy on climate change

The Guardian

Barack Obama is being urged by green groups to throw out Keystone XL oil sands pipeline project. Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Barack Obama is being urged by green groups to throw out Keystone XL oil sands pipeline project. Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Does the president have courage to say ‘no’ to a project that will lock us into decades of dependency on this dirty energy?

Very few of us have the opportunity in life to look forward to our legacy. However, sometimes events occur that we just know will shape how history will judge us.

One of those events is about to happen to President Barack Obama. This year, his administration is expected to make a decision on whether to allow the construction of a massive pipeline that would be used to export tar sands from Alberta, Keystone XL pipeline would essentially bisect the United States to bring the tar substance (bitumen) to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico. From there, it could be exported around the world. Continue reading