Chinese mining company Chinalco has gained rights to exploit copper at Peru’s Mount Toromocho, to be used in electrification projects in China. The $3 billion project will entail the removal of the entire town of Morococha (Yauli province, Junín region). Residents voted to approve the relocation across the valley last year, on promises of government aid. But nearly half the residents supported a “no” campaign, rejecting the terms as inadequate. (BBC, June 17)
See our last posts on Peru, China and the mineral cartel in Latin America.
PBS had a segment on this mountain. What’s interesting is how cheap the copper in the mountain is. The 3 billion at todays Copper commodity pricing is a fraction of the value. PBS also pointed out that the Chinese have many of these projects going on in Peru, basically ‘siphoning up the resources’.
Morococha makes the New York Times
The New York Times on Jan. 6 notes that Chinese industrial giant Chinalco has built the “Levittown of the Andes” to relocate more than 5,000 people from Morococha to make way for expanded mineral operations. But the residents are refusing to move, saying they want the company to pay the people of Morococha $300 million for destroying their town.
Nice to see this get some coverage, but one wonders if, among all the mining-related conflicts in Peru, the Times chose to focus on this one because the company in question in Chinese and not North American…