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Tía María: is unblocking the mining project viable?

Tía María: is unblocking the mining project viable?

“Aunt María would be a turning point”

Víctor Gobitz, president of the SNMPE

Let’s avoid the dichotomy. It’s not that water is yes or gold is no, or if Aunt María is going or not going. I could be wrong, but in my context they are formal and supervised investments that generate progress.

Tía María and the mining industry have reflected on the role of investment, which must go closely to the environment where it operates, not only bringing value proposals to Sunat or the MEF, but also to the territory.

It is a project close to the Tambo valley and could have another level of productivity with water regulation. Tía María can bring solutions and other knowledge for the young population, not only agricultural, but metal mechanics and activities that are positive externalities. Intangible goods.

Tía María would be a turning point to transmit the benefits of the project to everyone. Those who make up the Government know the sector and the academy. I think they can manage to convey messages of conciliation.

The project is leaching, designed to prevent any water leakage. Intrinsically, contact of chemicals with any body of water will be avoided. The discussion can be reopened.

“Dina Boluarte has to honor her word”

Miguel Meza, spokesperson for farmers in the Tambo Valley

In 2009 there was a popular consultation and the rejection was resounding, more than 97%. Unfortunately, a conflict was created that even caused deaths. What the Minister of Energy and Mines, Rómulo Mucho, has said are provocations. It even warns of a possible conflict of interest. It has bothered us.

To date, there has been no approach from the Government or Southern. It seems that we have lived behind the Government’s back. When she was a vice presidential candidate, the president Dina Boluarte He signed a commitment during his visit to our land and said that Tía María was not going to go. She has to honor her word.

There is a firmness. In areas like Punta de Bombón and Deán Valdivia we carry out an intelligent fightand without going out into the streets we raised green flags that said “agro yes, mine no” and “no to the Tía María project.”

The popular will must be respected. The Tambo valley produces everything. From potatoes, onions to sweet potatoes and olives. Now we are in full development of rice. It is a very rich valley, and even in a pandemic we support regions like Puno, supplying them.

We don’t want a conflict to break out. Nobody wants a confrontation.

“A situation of conflict is going to arise”

José de Echave, researcher at CooperAcción

It’s not a good message. Alan García tried it in 2011; Humala approved the Environmental Impact Study and Vizcarra, the construction license. None could due to the absolute rejection of the population of the Tambo Valley. It is unwise to insist on such a rejected project.

If the Government seeks to achieve this, it will generate a situation of social conflict in an area as important as the south, which is home to the largest copper production. It would even be counterproductive for the rest of the mining companies in the area.

Southern has not yet developed any international grievance or arbitration process.. They are waiting to see if there is any possibility that it will develop. It is not that Tía María is a megaproject like Las Bambas, Cerro Verde or Quellaveco, since it has an investment of less than US$2 million, but for Southern it must be because of its proximity to the coast and because it has very low production costs.

The EIA proposed water desalination, although the population’s questions continued: fear that the area would become one of mining expansion. Islay is the most concessioned province of Arequipa.

“We cannot force a project without a social license”

Iván Prado, regional manager of Energy and Mines Gore-Aqp

We are aware that, as a regional government, we comply with article 4 of the law on regional governments: promote public and private investment within the framework of their jurisdictions to, among other things, improve the quality of life of their population.

The position we have is that we cannot force a project that does not have a social license. This topic is very complex and controversial.

Tía María has environmental management instruments: the Environmental Impact Study for the exploitation and benefit stage of 2014, but which is not current, as well as the project file for the benefit concession for the company (Southern), but not for the exploration and exploitation of the project.

Southern is not processing these authorizations. The General Directorate of Mining, the right arm of Minem, complies with the principle of legality; and we, as the Regional Government of Arequipa, are in favor of investments, but it has to be with social license to avoid conflicts, and in the worst scenario, deaths of residents. We understand sectoral policy, but not without a license.

Source: Larepublica

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