Showing posts with label Conga. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Conga. Show all posts

Friday, January 25, 2013

Newmont investing US$150mn in Conga this year but won't build mine without community support - CFO

Newmont Mining (NYSE: NEM) plans to spend US$150mn in 2013 on its 51.35%-owned US$4.8bn Minas Conga gold-copper project in Peru's Cajamarca region, CFO Russell Ball said Thursday at CIBC's 16th annual Whistler Institutional Investor Conference.

On an attributable basis, the company looks to invest US$80mn in equipment, US$40mn in reservoir construction and about US$30mn for community and social costs.

"We have downsized significantly, and we are reviewing capital cost estimates as we go forward," Ball said.

Newmont voluntarily suspended construction on the Conga project in November 2011 following violent protests which prompted the government to declare two states of emergency in Cajamarca, but has continued work on related reservoirs.

"Until we can generate acceptable project returns and we get local community and government support, we're not going to progress the project," Ball confirmed.

Newmont continues to follow its "water first approach" announced in August 2012 to focus first and foremost on the construction of four reservoirs it has agreed to build in Cajamarca to give community members a year-round supply of water.

"We do have about 2,000 people on site today building some of the sediment structures and reservoirs, and finalizing the camp construction," Ball said.

Conga is one of the biggest investment projects in Peru's US$53.7bn mining portfolio. Average output over the first five years is estimated at 650,000-750,000oz/y gold and 160M-210Mlb/y (72,575-95,254t) copper, at cash costs of US$300-400/oz and US$0.95-1.25/lb, respectively.

Local miner Buenaventura (NYSE: BVN) and the World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC) also hold a 43.65% and 5% stake, respectively, in the project's operator Yanacocha.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Conga delay undermines Peru perception

The suspension of the Conga mining project – which would have been Peru’s largest foreign investment ever – is undermining the country’s perception among investors. However, Conga will likely go ahead as planned eventually, mining officials say.

“A case like this can affect investor perception of Peru,” says Pedro Martinez, chairperson of Peru’s National Mining Society, which groups all the leading mining companies in the country.

He adds that he also expects it to negatively impact the yearly ranking from the Fraser Institute. Peru ranks as the third-most attractive mining country in Latin America after Chile and Mexico on the latest Policy Potential Index from the institute.

The Conga gold mine was being developed by US-based Newmont Mining and local miner Buenaventura – the same companies that own Yanacocha, the world’s second-largest gold mine. Development of Conga was originally estimated at a cost of up to $4.8-billion, or the equivalent of 63% of what Peru received in total foreign direct investments last year.

Construction on Conga started in July 2011, but were suspended in November 2011 at the request of the Peruvian government following violent protests from antimining activists led by the head of the Cajamarca region, where Conga and Yanacocha are located. The opponents claim Conga will pollute the waters used by the local farmers for agriculture.

Construction was further delayed as the Peruvian government waited for an independent expert review of Conga’s previously approved environmental-impact assessment, which was handed in in April. The three experts confirmed the data used for the original approval.

However, in August the government of President Ollanta Humala announced that it would suspend the development. The decision came as a surprise after Humala had earlier taken a hard line against the protestors and had appeared to respect the expert findings.

Neither Newmont nor Buenaventura answered questions from Mining Weekly Online on the future of Conga or the delay’s impact on financials. Buenaventura referred to Newmont, which, in turn, sent a short statement on its general commitment to Peru.

However, in its latest yearly report for 2011, Newmont states that “any inability to continue to develop the Conga project or operate at Yanacocha could have an adverse impact on our growth if we are not able to replace its expected production… Should we be unable to continue with the current development plan at Conga, we may reprioritise and reallocate capital to development alternatives in Nevada, Australia, Ghana and Indonesia.”

According to Newmont’s 2011 annual report, $1-billion had been invested in Conga as of December 31, 2011. This year, it is investing $440-million, according to a separate fact sheet.

According to the same fact sheet, Newmont’s top priority now is developing the water reservoirs for Conga.

“The company will take a slower development approach – which is intended to foster a more suitable political and social environment – by focusing on the construction of reservoirs for downstream communities,” it says. “Construction on the Conga project will only continue if it can be done in a safe, socially and environmentally responsible manner with risk-adjusted returns that justify future investment.”

Once Newmont and Buenaventura finish the water developments, Martinez expects the Conga project to be back on track. “Once the reserve construction has finished, the population will realize that there is more and better quality water,” Martinez says.

Plans call for boosting water to help local farmers, he says.

“The change of perception is only a matter of time, during which the arguments from the radical opponents will remain without merit … and the Conga project will finally be approved,” Martinez says.

American Chamber of Commerce in Peru executive director Aldo Defilippi points out that the large mining companies are providing big benefits to areas with little or no Peruvian State infrastructure. They include well-paid jobs with insurance and special preferences at local banks.

Meanwhile, thousands of indirect jobs have been created. Those benefits stand in stark contrast to illegal miners, informal loggers, drug traffickers and terrorists that operate in Cajamarca.

“They prey; pollute; exploit the locals, including children; don’t provide any labour rights; don’t pay taxes; etc.,” he says. For them, formal mining companies are seen as a hindrance to their activities, Defilippi adds.

Notwithstanding the Conga delay, there are several juniors interested in Peru, according to Martinez.

“They understand that these problems are part of an unfortunate constant, but shouldn’t affect substantially the plans of new investors,” he says.

Edited by: Henry Lazenby

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Peru state of emergency over Conga mine to expire

The Peruvian government says it will not extend a state of emergency in force in three northern provinces.

It was declared after protests against a gold mining project turned violent.

The office of President Ollanta Humala said the state of emergency would expire on Sunday but that security forces would remain on alert.

In recent months five people have been killed in the protests against the US-financed Conga mine, Peru's biggest foreign investment project.

The government had declared a state of emergency in Celendin, Cajamarca and Bambamarca, suspending the right of assembly and other civil liberties.

Negotiators had asked the government not to renew the state of emergency to facilitate a new round of dialogue between protesters and the government.

Moving water
Opponents of the Conga project say it will destroy water supplies, but the Newmont Mining Corporation says its plans have been drawn up in consultation with local communities and meet the highest environmental standards.

The company called a temporary halt to construction work late last year, after thousands of people staged protests in Cajamarca.

The project, located some 3,700 m (12,000 feet) above sea level, involves moving the water from four lakes high in the mountains into reservoirs the company would build.

Opponents say the reservoirs do not adequately replace the lakes, which also provide groundwater for agriculture and irrigate pasture for livestock

The government says the Conga mine will generate thousands of jobs.


Monday, June 25, 2012

Newmont accepts stricter conditions for Peru mine

Newmont Mining said on Friday it has accepted a stricter environmental mitigation plan for its $4.8-billion Conga gold mine and could resume work on the massive project.

Conga, the biggest mining project ever proposed in Peru, has been stalled since November because of ongoing protests by community groups who say it would hurt water supplies and cause pollution.

Newmont said that before the mine is built it will first build reservoirs that will guarantee year-round water supplies in towns that currently suffer shortages.

In an attempt to quell protests, the government had hired outside experts to recommend improvements to the company's own environmental impact plan.

President Ollanta Humala said on Thursday that Newmont had "finally identified" with the recommended changes that urged the company to build larger reservoirs that would replace two or more in a string of alpine lakes..

Humala is slated to address the issue on Saturday in a nationwide address where he is expected to call for more mediation to calm dozens of social conflicts over the spoils of natural resources.

"We have ratified our decision to implement the recommendations international auditors made to the environmental impact study for the Conga project," Newmont's head of South America, Carlos Santa Cruz, said in a statement.

"We share the government's call for dialogue, for the vast majority of civil society in Peru," Santa Cruz said in reference to local political leaders in the northern Andean region of Cajamarca who are leading protests to halt the mine. Gregorio Santos, the president of Cajamarca, did not immediately react to Newmont's announcement.

Conga, which is partly owned by local miner Buenaventura , would produce between 580 000 oz/y and 680 000 oz/y of gold.

Peru, which has vast mineral resources, is the second largest producer of copper and sixth of gold, but many mining communities suffer from widespread poverty and complain Peru's decade-long economic boom has passed them by.

Source: Reuters


Minas Conga Project:

Conga Project - Water First, mine later

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Newmont 'identifies with' Peru mine requests -Humala

Peruvian President Ollanta Humala said on Thursday Newmont Mining has "finally identified" with stricter environmental mitigation plans the government requested for the Conga gold mine project.

Humala did not say if the company had specifically told the government that it would accept calls for a more demanding environmental plan and move forward with the $4.8 billion project, which would be Peru's largest mining investment ever.

Conga has been stalled since November over protests by community groups who say it would hurt water supplies and cause pollution. The government has sought to mitigate the conflict by asking Newmont to make slight changes to its proposal.

"We welcome the fact that they have finally identified with our proposal," Humala told reporters when asked if Newmont had accepted recommendations to build larger reservoirs that could replace two or more alpine lakes.

Newmont, which says the project would guarantee year-round water supplies in towns that currently suffer shortages, declined to immediately comment on Humala's statement.

In an attempt to quell the protests against the mine, the government hired outside experts to recommend improvements for the project's environmental impact plan.

Conga, which is partly owned by local miner Buenaventura , would produce between 580,000 and 680,000 ounces of gold annually.

Newmont said last month that it would take a decision in late June on whether to push ahead with the project.

Peru, which has vast mineral resources, is the second largest producer of copper and sixth of gold, but many mining communities suffer from widespread poverty and complain Peru's decade-long economic boom has passed them by.

Source: Reuters

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Peru Anti-Mining Movement Gains Steam

Gregorio Santos, president of the Cajamarca region, in a speech during a rally Tuesday, called on Peruvians to overthrow the Humala administration for supporting development of the $4.8 billion Minas Conga project, which will be the largest mining investment ever in Peru.

"What do we do when the president doesn't keep his word?" Santos asked. The crowd of anti-mining protesters responded, "We get rid of him!"

"What do we do when the president doesn't honor his commitments?" Santos yelled. "We get rid of him!" the crowd responded.

Protesters, who say that Minas Conga will cause environmental damage, succeeded in stalling the project last year, forcing the government and owner Newmont Mining to suspend work to carry out new environmental studies.

Political analysts say there is little chance of a break in the democratic order in Peru, even as various anti-mining protests gain strength and turn violent. Still, the protests pose a significant challenge to Humala's presidency, who took office nearly a year ago on a leftist platform and adopted center-right economic policies in one of the world's leading producers of precious and base metals.

Members of the executive branch said the administration will remain firm in its market-friendly policies, and late Tuesday, the office of the president of Congress called on the nation's chief prosecutor to charge Santos with inciting rebellion.

Chief prosecutor Jose Pelaez said in a broadcast interview Wednesday that there will be an investigation into Santos' statements.

Santos said that he was merely expressing his opinion and hadn't committed any crime. He also charged that the Humala administration wasn't carrying out its campaign promises, including calling a constituent assembly to change the nation's constitution.

In a Twitter message Tuesday, Humala defended his mining policies, saying, "We are going to carry out the grand transformation of Peru with a firm hand, persistence and without fear or abrupt decisions."

Political analysts say that many of those on the left who supported Humala in the elections last year now feel betrayed by the government's turn to the right.

Three left-leaning members of Humala's Gana Peru coalition defected this week, saying they disagreed with the government's economic policies and its support for mining.

"The conflicts could reproduce themselves in other zones," said political analyst Santiago Pedraglio. "The president hasn't explained why he changed his policies and many people who helped bring him to power feel betrayed."

Observers add that Santos' call for an insurrection is more likely a political strategy aimed at raising his profile as an "outsider."

University of Lima political scientist Luis Benavente said that Santos is seen as likely to run for president in 2016 when Humala is barred by law from holding a second consecutive term.

Still, analysts are concerned that the anti-mining protests in Peru could snowball.

"The protests could escalate and have a domino effect. What Santos is trying to do is to create a power vacuum," Benavente said, adding that presidents in Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador captured power by running against the status quo and sometimes leading street protests.

The Humala administration has adopted a strategy of cracking down hard on violent anti-mining protests, while offering to negotiate with local authorities to find solutions to their demands.

So far about 14 people have been killed in various anti-government protests since the Humala administration took over.

Anti-mining activists in conjunction with some politicians in recent months have enveloped Peru in a series of often violent demonstrations against the mining sector, including against mining operations of Anglo-Swiss company Xstrata in southern Peru.

In a statement Wednesday, Newmont Mining said, "We believe dialogue and constructive engagement is the best and most productive way to address issues around mining investment and development. Last week more than 10,000 people came out to demonstrate that they want a future based on progress and development. Their voices also should be heard and are just as important."


Friday, May 25, 2012

Newmont cuts spending on Peru mine project

Newmont Mining Corp said on Wednesday it will cut capital spending on a controversial gold mine project in Peru by two-thirds for the 2012/13 period because of delays caused by government and environmental reviews.CEO Richard O'Brien told investors in a New York presentation that the company will now spend $440-million on the Conga project over the next 18 months, down significantly from the $1.5-billion it had previously budgeted.

Newmont, the world's second-largest gold producer, is still evaluating the mine plan, after reviews by the Peruvian government and an independent panel of experts, which have recommended certain changes.

The company is expected to make a final decision by the end of June on whether to go ahead with the project, which has sparked protests over the issue of water supplies for local farmers and communities.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Conga Project in Peru - Environmental Impact Assessment

The Conga Project in Peru involves surface mining of a large copper porphyry deposit also containing gold that is located 24 kilometers northeast our Yanacocha Gold Mine, which is also a joint venture between Newmont and Buenaventura. Full funding for the project was approved by Newmont’s Board of Directors in July 2011 and the project is anticipated to provide employment for 5,000-7,000 during construction, with priority given to locals for employment and contracted services.

The public engagement process leading up to the approval included approximately 13,000 people from the neighboring communities, the Cajamarca region and elsewhere.

Water management practices incorporated in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) were based on more than 10 years of hydrology and engineering studies conducted by respected independent firms. In addition, the Conga water management program is designed to provide a year-round water supply to surrounding communities. For a summary of the EIA report please select from the following:

EIA Report - English version

Mining News – Today TV


Monday, April 30, 2012

Newmont takes independent report on Conga EIS seriously

Newmont Mining Corp has said it is taking the report of the independent panel appointed to evaluate the environmental impact statement of its Minas Conga gold project in northern Peru seriously and is assessing the changes suggested by the panel.
The international panel’s report concluded that Conga’s environmental impact assessment “meets all the technical requirements for its approval” and conformed to both Peruvian and international standards, Newmont spokesman Omar Jabar wrote in an e-mail sent to Mining Journal.

The verdict of the report’s 258 pages boiled down to calling on the Newmont-Buenaventura joint venture to spare two of the four high mountain lakes that the Conga gold project will destroy and to nearly double the size of the four fresh-water reservoirs that will be built to provide a year-round water supply to area farmers and residents.
“We have agreed to President [Ollanta] Humala’s request to conduct a technical and economic analysis of potential alternatives for the Chica and Azul lakes,” said Mr Jabar. “The president’s request regarding Chica and Azul was based on the panel’s report, which suggested alternatives for the lakes be evaluated to see if they would be technically and economically viable.

“If alternatives for the lakes were not viable, the panel’s report suggested we explore other environmental mitigation and/or compensation,” he said, adding that the plans to double current water storage capacity in the lakes would allow for a year-round water supply for downstream users, “something they don’t currently have as a result of the dry season”.
The independent report was ordered by the president in February and delivered to the Peruvian government last week. The authors of the report are engineers Luis Lopez Garcia and Rafael Fernandez Rubio of Spain, and Portuguese geologist Jose Martins Carvalho.

Mr Fernandez Rubio said the report is the result of four trips to Cajamarca as well as discussions with experts that could provide information. “We have acted independently. It is not a political document,” he said.

The report also said the water in the four highland lakes is not fit for human consumption and called for more rigorous and complete methodologies and baseline measurements in the determination of the hydraulic flows of the mountainous area where the US$4.8 billion Minas Conga project will be located.

The report was embraced by Mr Humala, who stated in a nationally broadcast speech that the Conga project will be subject to “new conditions”, which include the creation of 10,000 jobs as well as the expansion of the four new reservoirs. He also said the company must promise to invest in schools, irrigation canals and drinking water infrastructure in Cajamarca, a farming region in the northern Andes, and must not dry up highland lakes.

The principal leaders of the opposition are Cajamarca regional president Gregorio Santos and environmental leader Wilfredo Saavedra, who maintain that the Conga project is not viable and have dismissed the report’s recommendations.

Read more Conga Project :

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Peru's Humala says Newmont mine project needs work

Peruvian President Ollanta Humala said on Friday that U.S.-based Newmont Mining should carry out a more ambitious environmental mitigation plan if it hopes to build its $4.8 billion Conga gold mine project.

Humala, who urged community activists to stop protesting against the stalled mine's construction, said the government would make sure the company adheres to strict social, environmental and labor goals.

His comments to end a months-long impasse came two days after independent environmental auditors encouraged the company to build larger reservoirs to guarantee even more water supplies. They also said the company should preserve two lakes that would be displaced under the company's original plan.

"The company should meet the environmental and social recommendations made by auditors. And the capacity of the reservoirs should be at least four times greater than originally proposed by the company so as to benefit more townspeople," Humala said in a televised address.

Newmont's plan to replace four alpine lakes with artificial reservoirs fueled protests in the northern Cajamarca region late last year as some townspeople feared the most expensive mine ever attempted in Peru would leave local farmers without sufficient water supplies and cause pollution. The mine's construction has since been halted.

In a bid to gain confidence from locals, Humala's government asked three European auditors to issue an evaluation of the mine's environmental impact study, which was approved by the previous government.

Newmont has not yet responded to Humala's latest comments but has indicated it is willing to fine tune its mitigation plan. It has also said the reservoirs as planned would guarantee a year-round water supply for Cajamarca, whereas currently there is a lack of water during the dry season.

Peru's environment minister has said some of recommendations made by auditors would be relatively more costly and that the company would have to decide if it still wants to proceed after the government's recommendations.

Gregorio Santos, the president of the region of Cajamarca who has opposed construction of the mine even though it would generate some 10,000 jobs, said he was unmoved by Humala's comments - which also included a promise that the government would invest $1.9 billion in the region.

"No position has changed here," he said by radio from Cajamarca. "The Conga project isn't viable."

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Minas Conga 3rd party technical water report to be made public Wednesday

Three international consultants have turned over to Peru's Council of Ministers their independent recommendations regarding further technical mitigation of the Minas Conga copper and gold project's potential water impacts.

A yet-to-be-released report says serveral aspects of the mitigation for mining-related water impact issues, outlined in the Minas Conga environmental impact assessment document, can be improved.

During a press conference late Tuesday afternoon, however, Peru's Environmental Minister, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, did not go into detail about the study's specific findings and conclusions. He said the 260-page document will be posted online at Peru's Ministry of Environment's website Wednesday.

Pulgar-Vidal observed that the report "a highly technical document" for which a simplified analysis would be made available after the document is made public.

"I want to emphasize that this survey has been totally fair and transparent, in which our experts have been working to evaluate all environmental and technical aspects of this Conga project," he stressed. The study was authored by Luis Lopez Garcia and Rafael Fernandez Rubio, both from Spain and Portuguese geologist Jose Martins Carvalho.

"It's not our mission to say if the project is viable or not," said Lopez Garcia, "we've just tried to improve its technical aspects."

"Some measures could be implemented quite easily but others would require economic studies to see if they make sense," he added.

Peru's Prime Minister Oscar Valdes said the government hasn't yet made a decision but will review the consultants' recommendations. "This is going to be processed by the different ministries," he said.

Minas Conga is Peru's largest mining project and is being developed by Minera Yanacocha of which Newmont Mining holds a 51.35% interest and Compania de Minas Buenaventura with a 43.65% stake. The IFC owns the remaining interest.

Minera Yanacocha hopes to start production at Minas Conga in late 2014 or early 2015 with an average annual production ranging from 580,000 to 680,000 gold ounces and 155 million to 235 million pounds of copper in the first five years of mine life.

The project was suspended last November in the wake of protests by local politicians and residents who fear the mine will harm local water supplies. The third-party consultants' report focuses specifically on water issues.

However, Omar Jabara, Newmont's group executive for corporate communications, told Mineweb in an e-mail Tuesday, "Conga's reservoirs would more than double the current water storage capacity of the four lagoons in questions and would provide a reliable, year-round water supply to downstream users, something they don't currently have as a result of the dry season."

Newmont declined further comment on the third-party report until it is publicly released by the government.

Bloomberg reported Tuesday that Pulgar-Vidal revealed that the third-party consultants had recommended increasing water storage in reservoirs and delegating Peru's National Water Authority to monitor stored water usage.

The region of Cajamarca, in which Conga is located, had enacted an ordinance banning work on the mining project. However, Peru's highest court, the Constitutional Tribunal, Tuesday ruled against the ordinance.

The justices found that the Cajamarca government had exceeded its legislative powers, adding that the region has no jurisdiction over regulations affecting medium- and large-sized mining projects, such as Conga.

The court determined Peru's National Water Authority was the sole government agency that could rule on the viability of projects that involve Peru's water supplies.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Final report on Newmont’s $4.8 billion Conga gold project delivered to Peru’s Government

The long-awaited and twice postponed report from international experts on the environmental impact study (EIS) for Newmont and Buenaventura’s US$4.8 billion copper-gold project, Conga Mine, is finally in Peru’s Government’s hands, reports news state agency Andina.

Peruvian environment minister, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, did not comment on the results, but said he will address the country and the press at 6 pm ET today and that the results will be published online tomorrow for greater transparency.

The report establishes the viability of a proposed water solution for the Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) and Buenaventura’s copper-gold project located in in the northern Peru region of Cajamarca. The U.S.-based company has been accused by locals of potentially disrupting water supplies in the region.

Reuters is reporting that the team has recommended the Peruvian government that Newmont should make “substantive improvements” before being allowed to restart work on its massive project.

Newmont owns 51.35% of Minas Conga. The Colorado-based company hopes to begin production either in 2014 or 2015, producing between 155 and 235 million tons of copper a year at the site, if it gets permission from the Peruvian government.

Newmont stopped construction in November last year, after violent protests forced Peru’s government to declare a state of emergency in the area.

More demonstrations are expected if the experts’ report supports Newmont’s contention that the development will not hurt water supplies. These protests and their political consequences could delay the project further even if the report is favorable to the miners.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Key report for Newmont’s $4.8 billion Conga gold project now expected tomorrow

Peru’s long-running Conga mine dispute is about to reach a turning point as international consultants appointed by the government in February are expected to deliver their report on the viability of proposed water for Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) and Buenaventura’s US$4.8 billion copper-gold project tomorrow.

The independent review of the environmental impact study (EIS) for Conga was expected to be ready last Monday, but new protests in the region seemed to have delayed its release. Peruvian environment minister, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, said the results will be published online tomorrow, according to news state agency Andina.

Newmont stopped construction in November last year, after violent protests in the northern Peru region of Cajamarca.

In December, the government was forced to declare a state of emergency after boulders were used to block exits from the regional capital of more than 200,000 inhabitants, schools, hospitals and business were closed and dozens injured in clashes with police.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Newmont prices US$2.5bn public offering

US-based Newmont Mining Corporation(NYSE: NEM) has priced a public offering of US$2.5bn senior notes, consisting of 3.50% notes due 2022 for US$1.5bn and 4.875% notes due 2042 for US$1bn.

Net proceeds from the offering will be approximately US$2.46bn, after discounts and expenses, the company said in a statement.

The offering is expected to close on March 8.

Newmont will use the proceeds to repay the outstanding balance under the company's senior revolving credit facility which was drawn upon in January and February, and for the settlement of forward starting swaps contract, the company said without specifying any amount.

Proceeds will also be used for the remaining 2012 payments in connection with an early purchase option relating to the company's refractory ore treatment plant in Nevada and for general corporate purposes.

Citigroup Global Markets and JP Morgan Securities will act as joint book-running managers.

In Latin America, Denver-based Newmont's main asset is a controlling stake in Peru's Yanacocha gold mine. The company also has a controlling stake in the nearby US$4.8bn Minas Conga gold-copper

Govt to state position on Conga before IACHR in March

The Peruvian government will state its position in a hearing at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in response to an injunction presented by NGOs over US-based Newmont Mining's (NYSE: NEM) Minas Conga gold-copper project in Cajamarca region.

The hearing will take place during the last week of March, according to public prosecutor Luis Alberto Salgado.

A group of NGOs requested the injunction when a state of emergency was declared in Cajamarca last December due to the increasingly violent protests against Conga, state news agency Andina reported.

At the hearing, the Peruvian government will emphasize that President Ollanta Humala's administration is promoting a new mining model which focuses on social and environmental development, Salgado said.

The state of emergency in Cajamarca was lifted late last year and the government is in talks with local communities and authorities to plan social development in the region.

At the same time, three independent experts are currently evaluating the water component of the Conga project, which has been the most contentious issue, and are expected to present reports to the government in around six weeks.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Peru – International experts appointed to assess Conga EIS

The Peruvian government selected the Spanish engineers Luis Lopez Garcia and Rafael Fernandez Rubio and the Portuguese geologist Jose Martins Carvalho as the experts to assess the Environmental Impact Study for the Conga project.

The experts must complete their assessment within forty calendar days. Each will assume a specific task related to their area of expertise. Fernandez Rubio will study water quality and environmental impacts, Lopez Garcia will study surface and reservoir waters, while Martins Carvalho will study underground waters.

The aim of the international assessment of the Conga EIS is to identify and propose measures to improve mitigation of the mine project’s environmental impacts. The document may not declare Conga unviable as demanded by organizations and authorities in the Region of Cajamarca who oppose the project.

Peru’s Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar Vidal said that the selected experts will have all the necessary powers to carry out their task. “To speak of assessment, we must limit ourselves to what was asked and agreed. The assessment has been requested by the people of Cajamarca through their authorities to examine the mitigation measures. The agreement contemplates two fundamental aspects: First, an analysis of whether the mitigation measures are adequate, and second, to identify measures to improve the availability of water,” said Pulgar Vidal