Tuesday, August 31, 2004
Las Bambas Auction: Reuters reports on the nine top copper companies lined up "to bid for the vast Las Bambas deposit in Peru -- long touted as one of the greatest of all projects in this mineral-rich nation -- but locals vowed protests. The sale of the Las Bambas copper project -- at a site discovered in 1911 high in the Andes southeast of Lima and expected to need investment of at least $1.5 billion -- was delayed from June amid a controversy over a royalty charge on mining operations." Although 14 companies had originally prequalified for the sale, SNMPE President Jose Miguel Morales said only Swiss-based Xstrata Plc, Australia's BHP Billiton, Phelps Dodge of the United States, Rio Tinto and Brazil's Vale do Rio Doce "had accredited representatives for the auction as of Friday." NOTE: "Some 600 peasants have ridden across the Andes to Abancay, capital of the Apurimac department where Las Bambas is located, to protest the sale along with 90 local leaders, according to Juan Amache, head of a local citizen's group." CITED: CONACAMI, a lobby group protesting the impact of mining.
Montanans in Peru: Montana's Billings Gazette reports on seven college students who travelled to Peru through ProPeru, a service corps operating under the auspices of its parent organization, ProWorld. The organization's mission is to provide cross-cultural experiences by blending service, community development and academic study." NOTE: "What the students earned in perspective, the Peruvians gained in sweat labor. The Rocky group spent much of its time involved in projects that would better the region around Urubamba, a mountain village not far from Cuzco. ... One of their assignments was to build a greenhouse - vivero - to nurture native saplings. The vivero was constructed next to the village's small hospital."