Newmont Mining suspends Conga gold mine development indefinitely
By Nick Magel
December 1, 2011
In the wake of Peru's Ministry on the Environment raising concerns over an Environmental Impact Study, growing community opposition, and strong political blowback the Humala Administration yesterday requested that Newmont suspend all operations at the Conga mine site. In turn, Newmont has agreed to suspend their Conga gold mine development in Northern Peru, indefinitely.
Statement from Earthworks Executive Director, Jennifer Krill, on the suspension of the Conga project:
Earthworks welcomes this week's decision by Newmont Mining Co. to suspend the development of its controversial Conga mine in northern Peru at the request of President Ollanta Humala. The Minas Conga development has been at the center of many weeks of protests by community members and elected officials who are concerned about the project's impacts on the environment, water supplies, health and livelihoods. The project is a partnership between Newmont, Peruvian company Buenaventura, and the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC).
We urge the company, government and communities to open up a meaningful dialogue process that is undertaken in good faith. We also encourage all parties at the table to take the necessary time to build trust and address concerns.
Newmont Mining operates Latin America's largest gold mine, Yanacocha, in northern Peru, and this is not the first time that Newmont's Peruvian operations have been mired in controversy. In 2000, a truck carrying mercury from the Yanacocha deposit spilled 330 pounds of the toxic chemical along a road near the town of Choropampa, sickening hundreds of people, including children. In 2004, Newmont Mining was forced to suspend plans to develop the Cerro Quilish deposit after residents blockaded roads and protested the project."
For more information:
Associated Press: Peru's Highlands Conundrum: Gold Versus Water. A comprehensive piece from Frank Bajak.