MAC: Mines and Communities

Peasants take over Kori Kollo mine, Bolivia

Published by MAC on 2009-09-29
Source: EFE

Communities in Bolivia's Oruro region have been struggling for years to get compensation from Empresa Minera Inti Raymi for environmental damage and the use of their ancestral lands. See:

In July 2009, Newmont announced the transfer of its interest in Inti Raymi, owner of the Kori Kollo and Kori Chaca gold mines, to Compania Procesadora de Minerales SA - a company controlled by Newmont's Bolivian partner Jose Mercado.

As Newmont had already left Bolivia, leaving a mess behind, peasants took over the Kori Kollo gold mine demanding compensation for use of their territory, as well as employment for residents.


Peasants Take Over Bolivian Gold Mine
EFE,24 September 2009

LA PAZ – Peasants from Villa Chuquiña in the southwestern Bolivian province of Oruro took over a gold mine to demand a share of the revenues generated by the operation, media outlets said Wednesday.

The protesters say the operator of the Kori Kollo mine, Empresa Minera Inti Raymi S.A., should compensate them for alleged environmental damage and for the use of ancestral lands and should also provide stable employment for area residents.

The head of security for Inti Raymi at the mine, Franz Rios, told the state-run news agency ABI that the peasants “are asking for exorbitant figures as repayment for the lands they sold to the company many years ago.”

He said the peasants were blockading the production plant, which exploits mainly gold and dore, a mixture of gold, silver and copper.

In addition, he said that the firm told the peasants that “it is not in the position” to hire more workers since it is planning to close down some of its operations.

Inti Raymi employs about 1,000 workers in Kori Kollo who, to avoid conflict, left the camp, Rios said.

Meanwhile, the Oruro provincial police reported that they had dispatched officers to gain control over the situation.

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