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6/5/15

Peru's mining sector and its impeccable attitude to the environment

We've been hearing a lot about the illogical and unreasonable opposition to Southern Copper's (SCCO) Tia Maria project from local farmers in the Tambo Valley who fear that they're about to be polluted to kingdom come by the project. We also get to hear about the whiter-than-white mining companies and the responsible attitude who guarantee that nothing untoward will happen and because the EIa has been approved there's nothing to worry about and the local unwashed uneducated morons are just being stupid. To to that end it's worth pointing out the following:
  • If we keep it to recent data only and note the period between July 2010 and December 2014, Peru's environmental watchdog body OEFA (Organismo de Fiscalización y Evaluación Ambiental) opened 729 files on companies and imposed 600 fines on mining companies operating in Peru that add up to the grand total of U$70m.
  • Nearly all the fines imposed were immediately appealed in the courts.
  • Hardly any of the fines have been paid to date.
  • To that end, a few weeks ago the Peru government gave the OEFA special powers to make good on the fines imposed and get the mining companies to pay up instead of making the penalties disappear in the unending labyrinth of the Peruvian judicial system.


Just to give you an idea of how much Peru's mining companies care about the environment.