Peru May Revoke Canadian Company’s Mining, Water Rights

21 Jan 2021 by The Water Diplomat
LIMA, Peru

Peru’s Ministry of Energy and Mines is currently working on a report to overrule Supreme Decrees which allowed Nuevo Arcoiris S.A.C, the Peruvian subsidiary of Canadian Tesoro Mineral Corpto acquire and hold mineral and other related exploration rights.

The Supreme Decrees not only grant the company mineral rights but also several other related rights, including water rights.

The Peruvian Ministry of Energy and Mines granted Supreme Decrees 027-2020-EM and 028-2020-EM on December 10, 2020, giving the company permission to conduct exploration and exploitative activities on 21 mineral rights located in Piura.

The 21 mineral rights are located within 50km of the Peru-Ecuador national border and therefore as a foreign company, under Article 71 of the Peruvian Constitution, Nuevo Arcoiris S.A.C were required to obtain the Supreme Decrees from both the President of Peru and the Council of Ministers.

However, there have been calls from locals to revoke the Supreme Decrees based on environmental concerns. The mineral rights in question are hosted in Tambogrande, a small agricultural town in north-western Piura.

The report to overrule the Supreme Decrees is being written following a meeting which was held on 7 January 2021 between Jaime Galvez, Minister of Energy and Mines, Violeta Bermúdez, the head of the Ministerial Cabinet, Angelica Palomino, Congresswoman of the Republic of Peru for Piura, and the Mayor of Tambogrande, Alfredo Rengifo.

According to Angelica Palomino the people of Tambogrande do not support the mining project as it threatens thousands of acres of land destined for agriculture.

Palomino said in a Facebook post on 7 January 2021: “Tambogrande is an important area for agricultural development, bringing food to thousands of families across the country and employing hundreds of families in the district. I won't stop until the people's decision prevails.”

The US company Southern Copper’s (SCCO) $1.4 Billion USD Tia Maria project is another major mining project currently in operation in Tambogrande. This mining project has resulted in more than a decade of ongoing strikes and protests from local farmers, resulting in 3 fatalities since protests first began in 2009.

Tambogrande is at risk of experiencing further upheaval should Supreme Decrees 027-2020-EM and 028-2020-EM not be revoked later this month by Cabinet officials.