The News: In Peru, a “US-backed billion-dollar gold mine has attracted thousands of protestors in recent weeks.”
The reason? As one protester puts it, “It’s about protecting our water supply, nothing more.” The $4.8-billion mine is expected to significantly harm drinking water in the area, as previous such mines have done.
Over 1,500 marched in opposition to the mine last week, and such protests have been going on for weeks now.
This mine, if developed, would be the largest mine in Peru. Here’s a little more on the companies behind the mine and what they’ve created in other areas:
The majority shareholders of the Conga project are the Peruvian company Buenaventura and the US firm Newmont, the second largest gold mining company in the world. Both are no strangers to the region of Cajamarca; also owning the main stake in nearby Yanacocha gold mine. Yanacocha has at times suffered a strained relationship with some of the surrounding populace.
‘What has 20 years of Yanacocha brought..? Contamination and exploitation,’ says Hugo Gongora, who works as a market administrator for the municipality of Cajamarca, ‘It’s destroyed everything that was there, the land has been contaminated with cyanide and mercury, and the lakes have disappeared.’