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“Mining: Andean concessions”

Author: Andres Schipani, for Financial Times, Published on: 5 February 2013

February 5th, 2013

Perched at an altitude of 5,200m in the Peruvian Andes, the newly built town soon to be christened Nueva Morococha is an incongruous sight, its immaculate rows of matching red roofs dominating the bowl-shaped valley below…Chinalco, a Chinese mining company, has built the settlement from scratch to relocate about 3,500 people from the village of Morococha – a former mining camp built on a slag heap in the early 1900s…Chinalco’s motive for relocating the villagers is visible in the scars gouged across the cone-shaped, ochre mountain that looms over the old village. It is here on Toromocho– the bull with no horns – that Chinalco is investing $2.2bn in a copper mine and processing facility. The villagers of Morococha are, quite simply, in the way…The problem is that not everyone is ready to move immediately. Marcial Salomé, the mayor, has defied Chinalco and has pledged not to move to the new village until he gets what he believes is owed to his people…Back in Toromocho, Chinalco is pressing ahead. To Ezio Buselli, the company’s vice-president of environmental and corporate affairs, the crux of the problem is that investments in Peru have advanced at a faster pace than social policies, and many people feel left behind…“When there is a bonanza, everyone wants to invest,” he says. “When everyone invests, then everyone wants to jump on board.”

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