Bear Creek Mining is deeply saddened by the tragic events that occurred during an anti-development protest near the city of Juliaca in Puno State in late June, 2011. Dialogue and peaceful protests are part of the democratic process, but violence is never a solution to advance the legitimate goal of poverty reduction in Peru.
Leaders of the anti-development protests have made a series of assertions about Bear Creek's Santa Ana Silver Project that are false and inflammatory, notably that it would "contaminate" Lake Titicaca on the border of Peru and Bolivia. This is a misconception as Lake Titicaca is located within an entirely separate water-drainage basin than the Santa Ana Project. Furthermore, development of Santa Ana is based on a "zero-discharge," heap-leach project design, which means no discharge of water from the proposed mine into the surrounding environment. The project design incorporates high international standards of environmental safeguards.
Based on years of consultation, Santa Ana enjoys strong support from communities near the proposed mine. The Company conducted more than 130 information meetings between 2007 and 2011, including meetings with regional authorities and local communities culminating in an official ratification of the project at a formal public hearing in February 2011. District and community leaders favor its development, along with more than 4,000 citizens who attended a public rally to show support for the project.
Bear Creek Mining believes that Santa Ana exemplifies the type of environmentally sound mining project that Peru needs to help achieve its poverty reduction goals.
The Environmental and Social Impact Assessment for the project incorporates strong commitments to social sustainability and benefits to local communities, including job training, agricultural, educational and health improvement programs.
Santa Ana will provide 1,000 direct jobs, 1,500 indirect jobs, and more than $330 million in royalties and taxes for the Peruvian people and local communities.