Newmont Mining Corporation Encourages Constructive Dialogue and Condemns Violence in Peru
Newmont Mining Corporation (“Newmont”) and Minera Yanacocha (“Yanacocha”) strongly support open and constructive dialogue as the most effective way to resolve the ongoing tensions in the Cajamarca Region of Peru. We will continue our outreach efforts to stakeholders who have an interest in our operations in Peru, including those who have expressed concerns.
Newmont is an active participant in the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights and requires security for our operations to be provided in a manner that ensures transparency and respect for human rights. Consistent with our commitment to human rights, we urge all stakeholders to denounce all acts of violence, provocation and intimidation that threaten to undermine the capacity and security of those that wish to participate in constructive dialogue. Each of us must do our part to help avoid tragic events like those that occurred earlier this month and at the end of November 2011. We must all recognize that the Government of Peru has an obligation to uphold the rule of law and the right to stop acts of violence that threaten Peruvian citizens and elected officials.
Newmont believes that propagation of unsubstantiated rumors, such as allegations that the company has targeted opposition leaders for assassination, only serves to increase the potential for violence in the region. There is no truth to such allegations. While Newmont recognizes the right of all stakeholders to free expression, we believe it is also important for all parties to consider the potential impact of inflammatory accusations or deliberately inaccurate statements. We condemn all forms of violence, confrontation, intimidation, and coercion.
Newmont applauds the Peruvian government for inviting two religious leaders, Archbishop Monsignor Miguel Cabrejos and Father Gaston Garatea, to assess the situation in Cajamarca. Newmont and Yanacocha are cooperating fully with their assessment and encourage all stakeholders to support their efforts.
When Archbishop Monsignor Cabrejos and Father Garatea visited the Conga Project on July 18th, site personnel expected that 25 additional invited guests would accompany them. Instead, an estimated 1,000 people arrived at the property boundary and demanded access. At the time, officials at Yanacocha and the Peruvian National Police agreed to grant all 1,000 people access to the Conga Project site. No violence, injuries or vandalism were reported and everyone peacefully left the property at the end of the visit. We believe that this is reflective of the commitment to take all necessary actions to avoid confrontation and violence.
Newmont is hopeful that the work of Archbishop Monsignor Cabrejos and Father Garatea will foster dialogue and help resolve the outstanding issues in the Cajamarca Region of Peru. Should their efforts to facilitate a good-faith dialogue succeed, we are hopeful that the project would be able to proceed in a safe, environmentally and socially responsible manner with risk-adjusted returns that justify future investment.
Yanacocha has been providing information on the Conga Project and consulting with the 32 communities in the direct and indirect areas of project impact since 2007. Although they are well outside of these areas, Cajamarca, Celendin, Huasmin, La Encanada and Sorochuco were also included in the company’s outreach efforts. Comments received from the communities, government agencies, and other interested parties were considered during the finalization of the original Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in October 2010. We have continued working with the 32 communities since completion of the original EIA in 2010. During the construction activities in 2011, we consulted with community leaders in the vicinity of major project components prior to starting construction in an effort to address concerns or issues. These consultations were beyond any formal requirements and were well received. In January 2012, our outreach efforts were expanded to include an additional 223 communities.
Peaceful marches involving inhabitants of the 32 communities, local businesses, employees, and others supporting the Conga Project were held in October 2011 and May 2012. Attendance at both of the marches exceeded 10,000 participants.
Newmont and Yanacocha remain committed to working with the communities, government authorities, and other stakeholders to resolve issues so work at the Conga Project, and the implementation of associated social development programs, can proceed.