Newmont Mining released additional details on the Conga project’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), which was approved in October 2010. Conga’s EIA was reviewed by 12 agencies before being approved by the Ministry of Energy and Mines in Peru. The public engagement process leading up to the approval included approximately 13,000 people from the neighboring communities, the Cajamarca region and elsewhere.
“Conga’s EIA followed the process laid out by the Government of Peru in what was one of the most thoroughly studied mining projects in the country,” said Richard O’Brien, president and COO of Newmont. “The environmental and social impact analyses were based upon comprehensive studies that spanned up to 13 years and were conducted by internationally recognized and respected firms. The public engagement process was transparent, and open to anyone who wanted to provide input or raise concerns during a three-year period.”
Key facts outlined in a fact sheet on Conga’s water protection plan include: Four water storage reservoirs will replace four lakes impacted on the Conga property; these reservoirs have the capacity to store more than twice the water currently in the lakes; and, water from the reservoirs will be available to downstream users on a year-round basis.
The proposal to replace four lakes on the Conga property with the water storage reservoirs addresses the needs of farmers, who currently face an unreliable water supply during the dry season, by providing a reliable, year-round supply of water. Conga’s environmental management plan includes the protection of water quality during project construction and operation.
Construction activities at the Conga project were suspended last week. During the past month, the Conga project had experienced intermittent work stoppages as a result of ongoing protests in the region. Beginning in October 2011, anti-mining activists expressed concerns about perceived impacts of the project on the local water supply.