Expanding Frontiers of Extraction
I wish this wasn’t a political march, but a technical one, that the
[protest] leaders would really show the problem that they see in
the water.
prime minister oscAr vAldés, februAry 9, 2012 (reuters
news Agency)
They say that if a government minister says “technical” three times
in front of the mirror, a fairy that resolves social conflicts appears.
gregorio sAntos, regionAl president of cAjAmArcA,
mArch 2012 (posted to twitter)
When I returned for a visit in May 2012, Cajamarca was the site of
one more conflict to add to Minera Yanacocha’s tarnished corpo-
rate image (see figure c.1). Protests were being held in the prov-
inces of Cajamarca and Celendín, which would be affected by
the company’s newest project, Minas Conga. The Conga mineral
deposits were discovered in 1990, and Minera Yanacocha began
exploration work in 2004. In 2011, the company announced an
investment of $4.8 billion, making it the largest investment in
Peruvian mining history. Production was set to start in 2014, and
preproduction activities were underway when protests against
the project intensified. Like many other recent conflicts, protests
against mining expansion focused on water. To reach the mineral
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