The heavily polluted Quilacocha lake.
The story of the property of the mine of Cerro de Pasco is long and complex. The mine has changed property several times over the years and it is about to change again in these days. However, there is a common pattern. It does not matter who is the owner of the mine. The situation for the people of Cerro de Pasco remains the same.
The area is known to be mined since the pre-Hispanic era and historians suggested that a part of the silver of the ransom of Atahualpa came from that area. As we all know Pizarro collected the silver of the ransom and killed Atahualpa anyway. A few years later the conquistadores started mining in the area and they did it for more than four centuries. At the beginning of the XIX century the US based Cerro de Pasco Copper Corporation started the industrial mine and the open pit. The mine was subsequently nationalized in the 60s and then the then president Alberto Fujimori (now in jail for crimes against humanity) privatized it the 90s for a hugely underprized bet that was won by Volcan. The bet starting quote was 60 million dollars (the mine was producing 60 million dollars revenues each year) and Volcan won it with a bet of 60 million and one dollar.
In the early 2000th, when criticisms and concerns over the management of the mine started rising Volcan sold the mine to Cerro SAC a company that was owned 99,9% by Volcan and 0,1% by Buenaventura mine. Then they start to fragment the property into several parts. The pit owned by a subsidiary, the stockpiles owned by another one, the processing one by another one and so for.
We then get to the 2019 when the biggest mining company in the world, Glencore, acquired the majority of the shares of Volcan and therefore they basically become the owner of the mine. Nevertheless, Glencore tried to sell the mine from the very beginning and now they are in negotiation with Cerro de Pasco Resources, a Canadian company that is rising capital in order to acquire all the parts of the mine. They claim to have the hands over the biggest over-ground mineral deposit on earth: the stockpile of El Excelsior. The acquisition process should be finalized in these days.
The other side of the story is that the reality for the people of Cerro de Pasco has never changed. Every new company accuse the previous one to be the responsible of the pollution and no one has yet started a cleaning plan.
Our studies have demonstrated several time how the pollution is both historical and actual. The normal rules of trading recognize that if you buy a property you acquire profits and liabilities but this it seems to not be the case in Cerro de Pasco.
For the population all these changes in property do not reflect in any change in their lives. Their lives are still unbearable due to the pollution and they are still unable to have a life in dignity and wellbeing. People are dying and getting sick and all of these ownership changes do not affect their life at all.