U.S. mining companies leave lasting trail of contamination across Peru, grantee finds

Writing in the nonprofit environmental outlet Mongabay, with support from the Fund, Roberth Orihuela found that mines operated by U.S. companies in Peru have caused pollution for decades that harms local communities and ecosystems. In the Tacna and Moquegua regions, Southern Copper dumped 785 million metric tons of mining waste in Ite Bay, damaging an important fishing area. In Arequipa, a surge in output at Freeport-McMoRan’s copper mine has been accompanied by dozens of fines, mostly for dust in the air that has sickened nearby communities. Dust is also a persistent problem at the Mosaic Company’s Miski Mayo phosphate mine, where it’s been blamed for killing off livestock pastures and native carob treesPeruvian authorities have been slow to act, Orihuela found.