This week a group of anti-mining activists invaded Yanacocha’s Conga property in Peru and attacked the police who were onsite protecting local contract workers and their equipment.This is not the first time police have been physically attacked while trying to ensure the safety of people and equipment from groups invading the Conga property. The contract employees, all from nearby communities, were engaged in preparatory work for reservoir construction and were safely relocated before the unprovoked assault on police.
We reiterate our call for protest leaders to embrace good-faith dialogue and renounce violent provocations and vandalism that threaten everyone’s safety and the livelihood of workers from local communities.
We remain focused on our “water first” efforts to increase water storage capacity and provide year-round availability to downstream users who currently only have water flowing during the rainy season. In mid-2012, Newmont suspended construction of the mine and announced a slower development approach focused on building reservoirs for downstream users.
The Cajamarca region experiences water shortages due to inadequate water storage facilities to capture and store water during the rainy season for use during the six-month dry season. Our “water first” approach is intended to help address the communities’ pressing need for a more reliable, year-round water source.
This month, construction on the first reservoir, Chailhuagon, was completed. When fully operational, Chailhuagon will have a capacity of 2,600,000 cubic meters, more than double the current capacity of Chailhuagon lake. In addition, the reservoir will significantly improve the provisioning of water to communities since flows from the reservoir will be regulated by engineered outlets that provide for the controlled and safe release of water, year-round.