Unearthing Conflict: Corporate Mining, Activism, and Expertise in Peru
Mega-Mining and Emergent Conflicts
This chapter examines the technologies of mega-mining used at the Yanacocha gold mine in Cajamarca. To distance their operations from the problematic legacy of environmental degradation in mining areas such as the Central Highlands, transnational corporations have sought to create a new image of modern mining that branded their practices as more socially and environmentally responsible than those of earlier operations. Meanwhile, critics of the Yanacocha Mining Company argued that mining operations (typically located at the headwaters of the river basin) reduce the quantity and quality of water available to communities downstream. The chapter focuses on a participatory water monitoring program to show how various actors used the language and tools of science and participation to support their respective claims.