Yanacocha gold mine to resume work

Protests led to settlement
: Diamond News Network
31 August 2006 12:00 AM

PERUS cabinet minister announced that settlement allowing Newmonts Yanacocha gold mine to immediately resume operations. The settlement came after several days of protests and hours of government-mediated negotiations.Peruvian Government has agreed to attend all negotiation meetings called by the high-level government commission comprised of Del Castillo, representatives of the Departments of Energy and Mines, Agriculture, Production, the Economy and Finances, the
National Commission of the Environment, and local officials.Newmont officials had decided to stop all project activities at the Carachugo leach pad extension project at Yanacocha, laying off more than 1,000 contracted workers. Demonstrators had blocked roads to the mine, insisting that more work contracts should be awarded locally for the leach expansion project. Earlier this month, one person died and two employees were kidnapped and released during a prior protest over the work contracts. Complaints filed by residents of the community of Combayo, the town located nearest to the Carachugo operations, expressed their opposition to enlarging the $170 million heap leach project. They also expressed concerns about the possibility of a water shortage in connection with the project. Yanacocha is expected to produce 2.6 million to 2.7 million
ounces of gold this year.Meanwhile, the government of Peruvian President Alan Garcia has been pushing foreign mining companies to contribute up to $500 million to a “voluntary” social programs fund. The
voluntary payments were an alternative to the possible renegotiation of contracts with international gold mining companies to impose new taxes on windfall mining profits. usiness and mining industry leaders complained that the Peruvian Government’s failure to remove protestors from blocked mine roads violated the spirit of the voluntary agreement. However, Del Castillo vowed that government would use negotiation rather than violence to remove the protestors.

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