Last update:
2014-04-08

Los Pelambres, comunidad Los Caimanes, Chile

Description:

La mina Los Pelambres está ubicada cerca de la comunidad de Los Caimanes, a 45 km al este de la ciudad de Salamanca, Provincia de Choapa, Región de Coquimbo a 3.600 m.s.n.m.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Los Pelambres, comunidad Los Caimanes, Chile
Country:Chile
State or province:Coquimbo
(municipality or city/town)Salamanca
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict: 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Tailings from mines
Water access rights and entitlements
Mineral ore exploration
Specific commodities:Copper
Molibdeno
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

Mina a cielo abierto Vida útil 50 años/150.000 ton. diarias concentrados Ducto subterráneo de 120 km de la planta al puerto de embarque 3.000 millones ton. reservas de cobre al 0.65%, y molibdeno al 0.014% 339.200 ton. concentrado de cobre fino/año

Level of Investment:2120000000
Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:1999
Company names or state enterprises:ANTOFAGASTA MINERALS (Grupo Luksic) (ANTO) from Chile - belonging to Grupo Luksic (Chile)
Grupo Luksic from Chile
Nippon Mining and Metals Co. Ltd from Japan
Relevant government actors:Comisión Regional del Medio Ambiente COREMA, Dirección General de Aguas DGA, Brigada de Delitos del Medio Ambiente (BIDEMA) de la Policía de Investigaciones , Instituto de Salud Pública , Andrei Tchernitchin, presidente de la Comisión del Medioambiente
International and Finance InstitutionsUnited Nations Human Rights Council (UN) from United States of America
Oficina del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos (OACNUDH)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Comité de Defensa Personal de Caimanes, Agrupación Salvemos Los Valles, Movimiento Madre Tierra, Coordinadora de Defensa de la Madre Tierra CODEMAT, Observatorio Latinoamericano de Conflictos Ambientales OLCA, London Mining Network, War on Want, OCMAL
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Artisanal miners
Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Hunger strikes and self immolation
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Mine tailing spills
Potential: Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Global warming, Soil erosion
Health ImpactsPotential: Other environmental related diseases
Other Health impactsPresence of heavy metals in the tailing dam
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, displacement, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures
Outcome
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Corruption
Criminalization of activists
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Repression
Strengthening of participation
Violent targeting of activists
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
There have been attempts at bringing the company to criminal justice (environmental crimes). There has also been shareholder activism: El 12 de junio 2013 activistas de London Mining Network, War on Want y la red Chile 40 Años participaron como accionistas disidentes en la asamblea General de Antofagasta Minerals Plc, un gigante minero chileno-británica que cotiza en la Bolsa de Londres. Los activistas mostraron su solidaridad con el pueblo de Caimanes en el norte de Chile.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Están documentados los daños generados al ambiente por la amenaza en zona sísmica del enorme tranque de relaves, contaminación de aguas, el río se secó totalmente y los pozos de agua y los suelos quedaron contaminados, y en general la afectación al medio ambiente y a las personas, sin embargo en 2012 ya se piensa en la construcción de una nueva presa de relaves para la mina.

La comunidad de Los Caimanes sigue luchando por su derecho al agua y a una ambiente limpio.
Sources and Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Fact Sheet Chile, Pelambres EJOLT

Observatorio de Conflictos Mineros de América Latina OCMAL

Web Minera Los Pelambres

Veo Verde

Caimanes Resiste

La Gran Época

NO a la mina

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

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Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

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Meta information
Contributor:Patricio Chávez, JMA y Talia Waldron
Last update08/04/2014
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