Tintaya Mine to be sold-off
31 May 2006
The controversial copper mine at Tintaya, owned by the worlds biggest mining company BHP Billiton, will be sold in June because the project is too small.
According to the Anglo-Australian mining giant the operation does not meet the company's size requirements.
Local communities have questioned the right to mine the area. They felt they were never properly consulted about the imposition of the project and had concerns about the environmental impact of the mine. An environmental evaluation showed high levels of pollution in the water sources and soil.
An agreement was reached between the local Espinar community and BHP Billiton over the expropriation of community land and the lack of benefit they stood to receive from the mine. In 2004 a further unprecedented agreement was signed between the community and the company in which BHP agreed not to proceed with further mining activities that would affect local communities.
It seems that BHP will now abandon the project for this very reason. Whether or not the company that buys the concession will honour the agreement remains to be seen.