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.