CATAPA in Bolivia

In Bolivia CATAPA cooperates with the Bolivian NGO CEPA (Centro de Ecología y Pueblos Andinos), in order to support farming communities that are suffering the negative consequences of the extraction activities of the Inti Raymi company, 88% of which is owned by the American concern Newmont Mining. It concerns vast gold and silver extraction by means of open pit mining. The mining company Inti Raymi Plc runs two mining projects in the surrounding area of Oruro, namely the Kori Kollo and the smaller Kori Chaca mine.

In 1982 Inti Raymi began extracting gold at the Kori Kollo ("Golden Montain") site. The gold is being extracted through open pit mining using cyanide. This technique requieres enormous amounts of water. Scientific studies, among which the most recent ‘Salinización y Metales Pesados’, demonstrate that the environment on and around the site has been gravely disturbed and contaminated by years and years of mining activities.

Since october 2003 a closure and rehabilitation process is being deployed. Kori Kolli is the first mine of this type that finds itself in a closure phase after the implementation of the 1994 environmental legislation. Furthermore, it's a mining project of the largest multinational worldwide in the extraction industry. As a consequence, we fear that this closure project will serve as an example for the dozens of future mining projects in Bolivia. In other words, if this closure phase offers insufficient guarantees for the ecosystem and public health, future mines won't offer this either.

In 2005 Inti Raymi started a second mining project, Kori Chaka ("Golden Bridge"), a goldmine which is located in the urban zone of Oruro and is illegal for several reasons. Because of excessive water consumption for extraction and the risk of contamination, the estuaries of the Desaguadero River as well as Lake Uru Uru and Lake Poopó are being threatened. Both lakes are internationally protected areas included in the Ramsar Convention concerning wetlands and waterfowl.

The concerned indigenous farming communities are demanding an external environmental audit of the complete affected zone.

Main partnership goals in Bolivia are

  1. To insure minimal environmental and health impact during the closing and the rehabilitation phase of the mine Kori Kollo.
  2. To react on the illegal character and the dangers of the Kori Chaka mine in the city of Oruro.