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Revolt in the Andes [Peru]

Author: The Economist, Published on: 20 September 2007

The [mining] industry is booming...But in the Andean highlands that contain the mineral deposits, some Peruvians are turning against the mining companies. The latest battle is at Rio Blanco...Monterrico Metals [recently sold to Zijin Consortium], plans to develop a huge copper mine there...Urged on by a loose coalition...local mayors have campaigned against the project. On September 16th they held an unofficial referendum...Of the 17,971 votes cast (a turnout of almost 60%, said the organisers), all but 984 voted against the mine. Opponents say the mine would pollute rivers that are vital for farmers...and accuse the company of ignoring local opinion. More broadly, they argue that mining has failed to develop the highlands...Richard Ralph, Monterrico's chairman...says that the project will use clean, modern mining technology and very little water, which it will not pollute...In response to the protests, mining companies are spending more on community development. [also refers to Xstrata, Yanacocha (joint venture Newmont & Compañía de Minas Buenaventura)]

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Related companies: Minera Majaz (part of Monterrico Metals) Minera Yanacocha (joint venture Newmont, Sumitomo & Compañía de Minas Buenaventura) Monterrico Metals (part of Zijin) Newmont (formerly Newmont Goldcorp) Xstrata (part of Glencore) Zijin