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TORONTO — Miners in Peru are operating under another black cloud this week after a wave of anti-mining protests turned violent and prompted the government to declare a state of emergency.
At least two people were killed and dozens more injured in protests against Xstrata PLC’s Tintaya mine, which is located in Espinar province in southern Peru. The protesters claim the mine has polluted two rivers, a charge Xstrata denies. Sources said that there are socio-economic factors behind the outbreak of violence as well.
There has been significant anti-mining violence in Peru since President Ollanta Humala – a moderate leftist who supports mining — took office last year (it was also an issue under Alan Garcia, his predecessor).
In recent months, protesters have successfully disrupted development of Newmont Mining Corp.’s US$4.8-billion Conga project, as well as Southern Copper Corp.’s Tia Maria project and Bear Creek Mining Corp.’s Santa Ana project. At least 10 people died in those actions, according to reports.