Peru protesters push to stop $5 billion Newmont mine project

Thousands of opponents of a $5 billion gold project of Newmont Mining circled a lake high in the Andes on Monday, vowing to stop the company from eventually draining it to make way for Peru’s most expensive mine. Lake Perol is one of several lakes that would eventually be displaced to mine ore from the Conga project. Water from the lakes would be transferred to four reservoirs that the U.S. company and its Peruvian partner, Buenaventura, are building or planning to build. 

The companies say the reservoirs would end seasonal shortages and guarantee year-round water supplies to towns and farmers in the area, but many residents fear they would lose control of the water or that the mine would cause pollution.

"Why would we want a reservoir controlled by the company when we already have lakes that naturally provide us water?" asked Angel Mendoza, a member of a peasant patrol group from the town of Pampa Verde.

(Photos by Enrique Castro-Mendivil/Reuters)

Captions : 

1. An Andean woman sits on a horse as she takes a break during a march against Newmont Mining’s Conga project in Peru’s Cajamarca region June 17, 2013. 

2. Andean people protest against Newmont Mining’s Conga project during a march along the Perol lake in Peru’s region of Cajamarca June 17, 2013.

3. Andean people march during a protest along the Perol lake in Peru’s region of Cajamarca June 17, 2013.

4. Andean people march during a protest along the Perol lake in Peru’s region of Cajamarca June 17, 2013.

5. An Andean woman drinks water from the Perol lake using her hat during a protest against Newmont Mining’s Conga project at Peru’s Cajamarca region June 17, 2013.

6. An Andean man smokes a cigarette while resting along Perol lake in Peru’s Cajamarca region June 17, 2013.

7. Andean people remove rocks from the border of a reservoir, built by Newmont Mining’s Conga project next to the Perol lake, during a protest in Peru’s region of Cajamarca June 17, 2013.

8. Jose Rojas, an Andean man, flavours coca leaves with lime as he chews on the leaves while resting during a march against Newmont Mining’s Conga project, along the Perol lake in Peru’s Cajamarca region June 17, 2013.

9. Anti-riot police officers stand guard as Andean people vandalize parts of a dam during a protest in Peru’s region of Cajamarca June 17, 2013.

10. Andean people set fire to areas surrounding a dam during a protest in Peru’s region of Cajamarca June 17, 2013. 


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