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Peru declares state of emergency over U.S. gold Mine project

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Peru declares state of emergency over U.S. gold Mine project

Post  Panda on Mon 5 Dec - 9:27

5 December 2011
Last updated at 04:52











Peru declares state of emergency over disputed mine











There have been protests, strikes and marches against the Conga gold mine project



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Peru's
President Ollanta Humala has declared a state of emergency in a
northern region that has seen bitter protests against a gold mine
project.

Mr Humala said the measure would last 60 days and allow
security forces to restore public services shut by rallies and marches
against the mine.

US firm Newmont halted work on the huge $4.8bn (£3.1bn) open-cast mine last week after protesters were injured.

Those against the project say it will destroy local water supplies.

Protests against the proposed mine have been escalating and have seen sabotage of machinery and clashes with the police.

"Using my constitutional powers, I introduce a state of
emergency in the provinces of Cajamarca, Celendin, Hualgayoc and
Contumaza," President Humala said.

He blamed the impasse over the project on local officials.

"Every possible means has been exhausted to establish
dialogue and resolve the conflict democratically, but the intransigence
of local and regional leaders has been exposed - not even the most basic
agreements could be reached to ensure social peace and the
re-establishment of public services," he said.

Disputed impact
Newmont, based in Denver, Colorado, is the majority owner of
the Conga project, which was to begin production in 2015 and is an
extension of Yanacocha, Latin America's biggest gold mine.

The project, located some 3,700 m (12,140 feet) above sea
level, involves moving the water from four lakes high in the mountains
into reservoirs the company would build.

The protesters say the reservoirs do not adequately replace
the lakes, which also provide groundwater for agriculture and irrigate
pasture for livestock.

Cajamarca is Peru's leading dairy and livestock region, and
activists fear that pollution from the mine could affect agriculture.

The Newmont Mining Corporation says its plans have been drawn
up in consultation with local communities and meet the highest
environmental standards.

It says the Conga mine will generate thousands of jobs.

Deputy Environment Minister resigned two weeks ago, saying
the official environmental impact studies on the project were "weak,
outdated and lacking in credibility".











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Re: Peru declares state of emergency over U.S. gold Mine project

Post  Panda on Mon 5 Dec - 9:35

Good to see the locals demonstrating against yet another U.S. Company having complete disregard for the damage their exploitation of poor
Countries does.

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Peru PM in surprise resignation

Post  Panda on Sun 11 Dec - 5:38

Peru PM Salomon Lerner in surprise resignation











Mr Lerner had been trying to reach a compromise over a controversial mine in the north of the country



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Peru's prime minister Salomon Lerner has unexpectedly resigned.

The decision brings down the government as, under Peruvian law, the entire cabinet must follow suit and step down.

President Ollanta Humala will now have to shuffle his cabinet for the first time since he came to power in July.

Last Sunday, President Humala declared a state of emergency
in parts of the country's north after more than a week of protests
against plans for a huge, open-cast gold and copper mine.

Reports say Mr Lerner, who had been President Ollanta
Humala's campaign manager, has been replaced by the interior minister,
Oscar Valdes, a retired military man and President Humala's instructor
in the army.

Mine controversy
The protests in the north have stalled Peru's biggest foreign investment project, the $4.8bn (£3.1bn) Conga gold mine.

President Humala said the protesters had shown no interest in
reaching an agreement over the mine, despite days of talks led by Mr
Lerner.

The president has said the project, by US-based company Newmont, would benefit the whole country.

Its gold deposits are estimated to be worth around $15bn (£9.6bn) at current prices.

But many residents in the Cajamarca region are against its construction.

They fear it would cause pollution and destroy water supplies.










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