Convoca raises questions about company that prepared EIA for Tia Maria

17 August 2019

Convoca has published material which seriously questions the credentials of the company that prepared the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for Tía María, the mining project in Arequipa resisted by the farming communities of the Tambo valley. This raises serious issues about the standards involved in companies employed to undertake EIAs. EIAs tend to be regarded as the benchmark for subsequent operations.

It appears that the supervisory agency in charge of government contracts (OCSE) blacklisted Geoservice Ingenería for a period of 44 months, beginning in August 2016, for providing false documentation with a view to securing a service contract with a state company Activos Mineros SAC. The company was barred from seeking further government work until April 2020. 

In its coverage of the case, Convoca sought to obtain Geoservice’s version of things but had failed to obtain a reply to their request.

Commenting on this, Nuevo Perú Congressman Horacio Zeballos says he was not surprised that Southern Peru Copper would contract such a company to undertake its EIA. “If we look at the work of Southern in relation to the importance it gives to EIAs, this ends up being a mockery (…) This crooked way of operating ends up provoking the sort of social problems that we have in the Tambo valley”, he is quoted as saying.

For its part, Southern says that it has complied with all the official environmental requisites and is considering taking legal action against the Peruvian state for changing its mind on the go-ahead for Tía María. Readers will recall that it was the threat of having to undertake a new EIA that increased the urgency of the state giving the green light before this month.

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