Communities and BHP Billiton Sign Ground Breaking AgreementPublished by MAC on 2005-01-15
Communities and BHP Billiton Sign Ground Breaking Agreement
Press Release - For immediate publication
3 Years Following the Creation of the Tintaya Dialogue Roundtable
Representatives from five communities and mining company BHP Billiton Tintaya S.A. signed an unprecedented agreement on December 21, 2004, in the Peruvian province of Espinar, Cusco. The agreement involves land, sustainable development, the environment and human rights, and brings to an end almost two decades of conflict between residents and miners.
The agreement was reached within the Tintaya Dialogue Roundtable, which was created in December 2001 and includes the participation of the communities of Tintaya Marquiri, Alto Huancané, Bajo Huancané, Huano Huano and Alto Huarca, mining company BHP Billiton Tintaya, the National Coordinator of Communities Affected by Mining (CONACAMI), the Regional Coordinator of Communities Affected by Mining for Cusco (CORECAMI Cusco), the Peruvian NGO CooperAcción and Oxfam America.
The agreement stipulates that signatory communities will receive replacement land equivalent to that which was lost through government expropriation and company purchase. In 1982 the Peruvian government expropriated 2,368 hectares of land for use by the company Minera Especial Tintaya S.A.
The communities will also receive supplementary land, representing between 25 and 50 percent of the land originally lost. The exact amounts will be determined by consensus in the Roundtable and will be ratified by the communities in their assemblies. The company will further provide technical support to facilitate community relocation and establishment in new areas. Future exploration activities will only be carried out with the prior consent of landowners, be they communities or individuals, in accordance with the company's Corporate Charter, Health, Safety, Environment and Community (HSEC) Policy and the principles of the Dialogue Roundtable.
The agreement recognizes the importance of sustainable development for the future of the communities that neighbour the mine, and their right to determine their own rate of change, according to their visions, plans and decision-making processes. In order to promote community development, signatories agree to create a "Community Development Fund," which will provide resources from international cooperation, public or private organizations and the mining company.
The agreement reiterates the commitment of the signatories to protect the environment, in accordance with consensus-based standards, to implement a joint environmental monitoring program, to adopt mechanisms to evaluate human and animal health, and to establish a communal environmental oversight system in the area influenced by mining activity. Signatories agree to address identified cases of human rights violations. Moreover, the Dialogue Roundtable is recognized as a permanent mechanism for future conflict resolution and to support sustainable community development. The agreement further stipulates that its fulfillment will be monitored by the Oxfam Australia Mining Ombudsman Office.
Issued by: the Tintaya Dialogue Roundtable