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1/11/11

HudBay Minerals' (HBM.to) special brand of community relations coming to Peru

The thing about this Constancia place in the southern region of Peru is that the community relations between it and the exploration mining companies there hasn't always been the best. Things got a bit better last year when explorer Norsemont (NOM.to) finally got permission to access land that is part of its concession but still dosn't own and the local villagers around there have been given workshops and committee time to understand what the arrival of a big mining operation would mean, but it's still not the most welcoming place in all the highlands, gotta be said (ie the welcoming ones sell surface rights, they don't just say "yeah you can walk on my land"). Which brings us to the likely new owner of the project and their idea of community relationships with indigenous peoples. The (proposed) new owner of Constancia is HudBay Minerals (HBM.to), that made its offer for Norsemont (NOM.to) yesterday. So  let's recall its caring and loving way of community relations used recently in Guatemala via the words of a woman local to its Fenix project there:

"Just over a year ago, my husband, Adolfo Ich Chamán, was killed by security forces employed at the Fenix mining project in Guatemala – a mining project owned by Canadian company HudBay Minerals. In the afternoon of September 27, 2009, I watched my husband leave our house for the last time. I later learned that mine security forces had surrounded my husband, dragged him through a gap in a fence and hacked at him with machetes. Then the mine’s chief of security shot him in the neck at close range. This attack was unprovoked." CONTINUES

Adolfo Ich Chamán died because he had led a protest group against the Fenix mine. Now for sure Peru isn't Guatemala and there's always going to be apples-to-oranges comparatives between the community relations a mining company has with its locals, but in light of the pisspoor human rights record that the murderers at HBM.to have, it might be nice to get a quote or two from them about how they plan to treat the Peruvian local communities...before they start hacking them to death or shooting them, that is. It might save a lot of bother in the long run.