Strike starts at Las Bambas

26 September 2015

Protests got under way on 25 September against the Las Bambas mining project in Apurímac, acquired last year by the Chinese company MMG from Glencore. Along with the Chinese-owned Toromocho in Junín, Las Bambas is one of the most important additions to Peru’s mining capacity due to come on stream this year and next. Protests are centred on the districts of Cotabambas and Grau in Apurímac and Chumbivilcas in Cuzco. The motive for the strike is the accusation that the mining company made changes to the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) without first consulting the local population. According to Ronald Tellez, president of the Tambobamba Defence Front (Tambobamba is in Cotabambas) “the company changed the location of the processing plant and the mineral trans-shipment system”. Originally, he claimed, these were supposed to be in Espinar (in Cuzco) but they are now being installed in Cotabambas. People in the Cotabambas region fear that these installations will have negative environmental impacts on communities there.

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