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Peru: Portal highlights that Volcan and Las Bambas mining projects did not pay but half the price for the water they use in their operations

Research divulged this morning by the investigation portal [Ojo Público, Public Eye] shows that a group of mining companies have privileged access to water sources.  It says that “all of Peru’s drinkable water is in the hands of corporations, associations and people that obtained licences to extract this resource from rivers, streams and wells.  For each thousand litres of water they pay a maximum of USD $0,08.”  About 5,460 licences belong to 43 private companies of the agriculture, mining and industrial sectors.  All this happens in zones where the hydric resource is scarce, and most of the people do not have access to clean water and sewage.  Why so much privilege and inequity?

In 2015, mining co. Las Bambas [part of MMG, part of China Minmetals] operating in Apurimac and Cusco had to pay S/1’070,000 [about USD 300,000] and according to the analysed registry for this investigation the company only transferred S/904,000.  Public Eye also affirms that “in the case of Volcan mine, with operations in the Peruvian Central Sierra and, whose main shareholder is the multinational Glencore, the major trading company of commodities globally, it had to pay S/1,600,000 and only paid S/796,000.”  In both cases, Ojo-Publico.com determined that the payments due for FY 2015 did not correspond to the total of water they declared they used…[Govt.] approved 141 permits to extract water directly from water sources and those were given to Las Bambas, Yanacocha [joint venture Newmont, Sumitomo & Buenaventura], Southern Peru [part of Grupo Mexico], Barrick and Antapaccay in Cajamarca, Cusco, Ancash and Moquegua, respectively.  According to the National Civil Defence Institute (INDECI, for its Spanish acronym), these regions face a permanent risk of drought…The complete report can be found in the owners of water [los dueños del agua”] report…This is a short documentary compiling the testimonies of families at Las Bambas that see their access to water limited due to that mining project…