Last update:
2016-02-03

Kori Kollo mine, Bolivia

In spite of decades of local farmers' and inhabitants' mobilization, their claims have been barely satisfied while the pollution provoked by the mine remains problematical.


Description:

The residents of Oruro, alongside social organizations like the Centre for Ecology of the Andean people (CEPA), have protested many times against the plans of the Inti Raymi Company, a subsidiary of the multinational Newmont Company and owner of the Kori Kollo mines. Indeed the social conflict started as soon as did the exploitation of the mine in 1983 because the local population was forced to displacement and to sell their lands.

The mine company extracts gold by a process called open pit mining, extremely bad for the environment because of the use of cyanide and the huge amount of water needed. The local communities have never been properly informed about the effects of the materials used, though for years they have asked many times to see technical and environmental management plans from Inti Raymi. Since 1999 the communities presented 1000 complaints for pollution and organized protests and blockades, claiming for an environmental audit on the activities of the mine. The audit was finally carried on in 2009 by PCA Cansultora. Still in 2012 the communities denounced the last report because it was empty of meaningful conclusions and was lacking key information. The population relied on the studies carried on by researchers from the University of Oruro which confirmed the high levels of pollution of the lakes of Popoo and Uru Uru.

Communities in Oruro region kept on struggling for years to get compensation from Empresa Minera Inti Raymi for environmental damage and the use of their ancestral lands. In July 2009, Newmont announced the transfer of its interest in Inti Raymi, owner of the Kori Kollo and Kori Chaca gold mines, to Compania Procesadora de Minerales S.A. - a company controlled by Jose Mercado, a Bolivian partner of Newmont. As Newmont had already left Bolivia, leaving a mess behind, in September 2009 peasants took over the Kori Kollo gold mine demanding compensation for use of their land, as well as for hiring local residents. Since 2015 the mine is decreasing its activity due to the fall in mineral prices. 

Basic Data
Name of conflict:Kori Kollo mine, Bolivia
Country:Bolivia
State or province:Oruro
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict: 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Mineral ore exploration
Tailings from mines
Mineral processing
Specific commodities:Land
Gold
Water
Silver
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

Inti Raymi S.A started exploiting Kori Kollo mine in 1983. Kori Kollo mine is 45 km away from Oruro city. The shareholders of Inti Raymi S.A changed over the years.

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Project area:7000
Type of populationSemi-urban
Start of the conflict:1982
Company names or state enterprises:Newmont Mining Corporation from United States of America
Inti Raymi S.A. from Bolivia
Compania Procesadora de Minerales S.A. from Bolivia
Battle Mountain Gold Inc. - Entered the mine capital in1988 by buying 33% of the mine's shares
West World from United States of America - Has held mine's shares in the early 90s
Relevant government actors:Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Rural Development, Agriculture and Environment, Government of Oruro, General Direction of Environment Protection
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Centre for Ecology of the Andean people (CEPA) - Bolivia, Coordinadora en Defensa de la Cuenca del río Desaguadero y lagos Uru Uru y Poopó (CORIDUP) - Bolivia, Universidad Técnica de Oruro (UTO), Committee in Defence of Water and Life (Cochabamba), CONACAMI - Peru, Farmers Federation of Oruro - Bolivia, FSUTCO - Bolivia
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Informal workers
Local ejos
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Trade unions
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Boycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Land occupation
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Objections to the EIA
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Mine tailing spills
Potential: Air pollution, Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Soil erosion, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsVisible: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Potential: Malnutrition, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Deaths
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Violations of human rights, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Increase in violence and crime, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures
Outcome
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Corruption
New legislation
Repression
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Development of alternatives:The stop of the mine activity or the decrease of its activity, the restoration of the area in both cases and the respect of the environmental legislation.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The mine activity has not stopped.
Sources and Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Mining Code 2006

Decree on the Nationalization of hydrocarbons 2007

Law 1333 on the environment

Presidential Supreme Decree 2281, March 9th 2015

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

¿Del grito pionero ... al silencio? Las radios sindicales mineras en la Bolivia de hoy, K. Miller, 2006
[click to view]

Minera. Impactos sociales y ambientales. Movimiento por los bosques, 2004
[click to view]

Preocupaciones social-ambientales por la mineria en Oruro, Revista Habitat, Diciembre 2009
[click to view]

Informe de cierre de operaciones Kori Kollo para la prevención de conflictos socio- ambientales, Empresa Minera Inti Raymi, Bolivia, in "Conflictos Mineros: una realidad actual en América Latina y el Caribe"
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Peasants take over Kori Kollo mine, Bolivia, MAC: Mines & Communities, 24/09/2009
[click to view]

Fuga e infiltración de cianuro de la mina Kori Kollo provoca contaminación ambiental, OLCA, 22/08/2006
[click to view]

Campesinos toman mina Kori Kollo en Oruro, Bolivia, MAC: Mines & Communities, 24/09/2009
[click to view]

KORI KOLLO by Colectivo de Coordinacion de acciones socio ambientales
[click to view]

La CORIDUP - coordinadora de comunidades afectadas por la contaminacion ambiental, Mayo 2010
[click to view]

Denuncian que contaminación minera causó muerte y mutación de animales, OLCA, 09/2015
[click to view]

Auditoría ambiental al proyecto “Kori Kollo”, La Razon, 25/09/2012
[click to view]

Culpan a Inti Raymi por contaminar y causar sequía, 31/01/2012
[click to view]

Comunarios exigen auditorías sobre desastres ocasionados por la mina, 31/01/2012
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Video in Spanish : Los danos de la mineria a cielo abierto Kori Kollo
[click to view]

Other documents

Uru Uru Lake, polluted by Kori Kollo mines's wastes blog.geotrek.info/
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Lucie Greyl
Last update03/02/2016
Comments
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