Changes Suggested to Minas Conga Water Storage Plan
On April 17, 2012, the Peruvian govern-ment received an independent, 248-page
report from contracted consultants analyz-ing the hydrologic aspects of Minera
Yanacocha’s Minas Conga gold mine proj-ect in Cajamarca province, Peru. Minera
Yanacocha is owned 51.35% by Newmont,
43.65% by Buenaventura, and 5% by the
World Bank’s International Finance Corp.
The project, which has estimated capital
costs of about $4.8 billion, has been shut
down since November 2011 due to
protests directed primarily at its water stor-age plans, which call for four lakes on the
property to be replaced by four water stor-age reservoirs. The report suggests, among
other recommendations, that two of the
lakes be left intact and that water storage
capacity of the reservoirs be increased.
In a televised address to the nation
on April 20, Peru’s President Ollanta
Humala gave tentative approval to develop-ment of the Conga project, with the condi-tion that its developers take additional
measures to mitigate its hydrologic and
On April 21, Minera Yanacocha said in
a press release that it will undertake a new
evaluation of technical and economic alter-natives for the project, as well as of ways to
compensate for its hydrologic and environ-mental impact.
Production from the Minas Conga open-pit mine is planned to be in the range of
600,000 to 700,000 oz/y of gold and
160,000 to 240,000 lb/y of copper.
As featured in Womp 2012 Vol 05 - www.womp-int.com