blind eyes turned on informal and illegal mining by Peru's government
Hey, remember back in April when Peru's newspaper of record, El Comercio, started a big debate over the environmental wasteland being caused by informal gold miners in the Madre De Dios (MDD) region of southern Peru? Well if you don't here's a link to the April piece, here's a link to a whole photo gallery of images from the craphole being made in the middle of the Amazon rain forest that was published by El Comercio. From there you can get Googling and check out the reactions in Spanish and in English media if you care enough.
So for a while, April 2010 to be precise, this most awful of governments in Peru decided to care about MDD. Peru's Environmental Puppet Minister Antonio Brack said he was "extremely worried", calls for new controls were made, licences to operate would be revoked and tightened up and the world would get greener and cleaner, right?
Wrong. As soon as the world's eyes were bored of the subject the Peru government did precisely nothing else, giving the green light to "business as usual" at MDD. Here are the official monthly production figures for the MDD area, January 2009 to date, as supplied by the Ministry of Energy and Mining (MEM):
Yep for one puny month the government clamped down, but as soon as backs were turned, production went back to the same as it ever was. And to give you an idea of what this dirty, filthy gold represents here's a chart that shows the monthly percentage of MDD compared to Peru's total production.
It's 10% of Peru's gold production, basically. In 2009 alone, MDD gold added up to 5.68 million ounces officially (it's well-understood that more is produced and gets swallowed by the black market) and by using monthly spot prices for 2009 and comparing to 2009 GDP, it's also 0.42% of the country GDP. Generated by filth.
This is the way of the Banana Republic; pay lip service, pretend you care, then go for the money. Peru, the most wonderful of countries, dragged down by its abysmal leaders once again.