A possible agreement between a Brazilian mining company and local communities in Ica affected by a planned mining project is worth watching.

The company is Nexa Resources and it is looking to develop the underground mine of Cerro Lindo in Ica, producing zinc, copper and lead. The Ministry of Energy and Mines (Minem) has been pressuring the actors concerned to agree a programme of support and development to the local community through the format of a dialogue table (mesa de diálogo). A plan has apparently now taken shape and is being discussed at a round table meeting in Chincha, Ica, as we go to press.

At its heart, the plan involves providing professional training for up to 20 people over the next year. The company is offering communities a visit to the mine to observe labour conditions.

Important questions to answer concern how real a process of consultation this is, how the included groups were chosen, and how the agenda was designed.

Nexa Resources SA, formerly VM Holding SA, is a Luxembourg-based company mainly engaged in zinc content production, and whose product portfolio also includes copper, lead, silver and gold. Its mining and smelting presence is located in Brazil and conducted by Votorantim Metais Zinco. In Peru it is conducted by Companía Minera Milpo SA, and Votorantim Metais-Cajamarquilla SA. Its controlling shareholder is Votorantim SA, a major privately-owned industrial conglomerate in Brazil that holds ownership interests in metal, steel, cement, energy and pulp companies, among others.