|Sergio Campusano, testifying at a Parliamentary press conference in Ottawa, Canada. photo: Allan Lissner (allan.lissner.net)|
Diaguita Statement on the Sale of El Morro
Mining group Xstrata PLC agreed to sell its 70% interest in the El
Morro copper-gold project in Chile for US$465-million to Canada's
Barrick Gold Corp., Xstrata said on Monday, October 12.
In response, the leadership of the Diaguita Huascoaltinos made the following statement, reaffirming their opposition to mining on their traditional lands.
"The sale of El Morro project is for us a little great victory. Even if this project can be economically very profitable, our community has never given approval to it's development in our lands. This has been a heavy burden with which Xstrata has had to carry since the beginning of this project.
At this point, the social opposition Huascoaltinos was becoming a problem for them and we think that may have influenced Xstrata Copper decision to sell El Morro to Barrick Gold. Barrick is known as a company that is only interested in economic efficiency, with no regard for environmental or social damage that this project might cause, and very likely they haven't evaluated the current social situation.
For us, however, it is better to have one giant who fight. We have stated repeatedly that El Morro project would mean the death of our Community and we will continue fighting to defend our land no matter who is at the forefront of this project." - Sergio Campusano, President of the Diaguita Huascoaltinos