First, we must consider that despite not getting much attention recently*, the latest protest by locals in the South coastal Islay area of Arequipa region, Peru, against the Tia Maria project (SCCO) have continued unabated and today reached 100 days. However, for the last month locals have allowed schools to return to normal and only formed their protest blockades until midday, an agreement that has allowed agriculture to continue unaffected (they are not into stopping themselves from planting their own rice) and perhaps due to this, the world no longer cares
Second, we note that Peru’s Mining Council has until October 29th to rule on the viability (or not) of the Tia Maria project. The council has heard evidence from all interested parties and will rule on five issues arising and in theory at least, has the power to rescind the current environmental and construction permits.
Third, the protesting locals this week announced a three day total stoppage of all activities in the zone, to run from this Saturday until Tuesday 29th October.
We combine those facts, mix thoroughly and place into a medium oven for 45 minutes. As the chances of the Mining Council taking away any permit of any multinational mining company employing tens of thousands of people in Peru are precisely zero, expect the Tia Maria protest planned until October 29th to extend and accelerate through the Arequipa region (including its 1m population regional capital city) as next week unfolds. And remember that a very very lot of copper concentrate leaves Peru via the port of Matarani.
*Combine the news cycle, the diminished attention span of the average
human being and you’re left with a desperate situation in which…oh
look! a butterfly! So pretty, look how fast it can fly