Xstrata Tintaya fined for pollution around mine

14 January 2014

Xstrata Tintaya, subsidiary of the Anglo-Swiss commodities giant Glencore Xstrata, has been fined US$84,000 for polluting pastureland around its copper mine in Espinar, Cusco.

The fine was announced by the official tribunal of the Organisation for Environmental Assessment and Regulation (OEFA) at the start of January, after an appeal against its September resolution failed.

Xstrata Tintaya was found responsible for elevated levels of copper in the soil in an area of pasture covering some 1000m2. The company had also failed to report the incident to OEFA and to provide a report on an investigation. Excessive levels of copper can harm biodiversity and poison livestock.

Xstrata Tintaya argued that the copper was naturally occurring and not the result of pollution, but OEFA concluded that the metal had spread from water being pumped through a channel by the miner. The tribunal found that the levels of copper had reached nearly 1800% of the naturally occurring concentration in the area and more than 3000% of the maximum set by international standards.

The dialogue between the company and local communities, established after fatal clashes in 2012 over the mine’s social funding and alleged environmental impact, is due to conclude in March. 

All news

  • PSG Aims

    The Peru Support Group exists to promote social inclusion, sustainable development and the observance of human rights in Peru. To that end the PSG highlights shortcomings in observance of established norms, whether international or local in nature, in its research, advocacy and publications. In so doing, it underscores the relationships that exist within the political system, how institutions work, and the effectiveness of policies that aim to reduce poverty and inequality within the context of sustainable development.

  • Historical Overview

    Over the past century Peru has suffered a series of autocratic governments and a civil war in which nearly 70,000 people died. Many of the country's ongoing political and social problems are a legacy of its somewhat turbulent past. 

  • Human Rights

    Human rights violations were widespread during the twenty years after the initiation of armed conflict in 1980. Efforts to convict perpetrators since the war's end have made only limited progress. Today, concerns remain over the treatment of those engaged in social protest, particularly against strategically important investment projects.

  • Why join the PSG?

    • Keep up to date with latest news and developments in Peru
    • Learn about key issues of poverty, development and human rights in Peru
    • Support the work of the Peru Support Group

    Become a member