A Gunrun Project

Remembering Those Killed in the Fight Against a US Mining Firm’s Interest

Celendin, Peru
Balazs Gardi, July 3, 2013

It was exactly a year ago when Eleuterio García Rojas was killed in front of the city hall of the small Andean town of Celendin. He was an innocent bystander caught between the angry crowd protesting against a proposed open-cast gold mine and the government security forces. He was one of three killed during the protest. The following day Peru’s president would declare a state of emergency in the region’s three provinces.

“The peasant squads used to be worried about petty crimes – a stolen cow and things like that – but now they are defending our land and water from multinational companies”

− Milton Sanchez,

Peruvian Activist

Toxic Waste to Replace Pristine Water

Conga Mine, Cajamarca Region, Peru
Balazs Gardi, June 1, 2013

The last place on earth I expected to see a plastic water bottle trashing a pristine landscape was next to Maxima Acuna de Chaupe’s house far up in the remote highlands of the Peruvian Andes. Her family pulls drinking water from a small pond next to their house. The water is always cool and crystal clear.

The contractors building new barracks on the road near her house operate differently. They ride the latest Japanese pickup trucks and drink from plastic bottles they bring in from the nearby towns.

The Blue Lagoon

Conga mine, Cajamarca Region, Peru
Balazs Gardi, May 15, 2013

We came here to the alpine wetlands of the Peruvian Andes to meet Maxima Acuna de Chaupe who has lived next to the lagoon, Laguna Azul, with her family for the past 25 years. Her property became part of the proposed Conga mine and ever since she has been in a fierce fight with the ‘new owners’ who would do just about anything to drive her off this land. As she was away visiting officials in the city of Cajamarca to discuss the latest developments over the disputed land her son Daniel greeted us in front of their tiny adobe home.

Deep Canadian mine yields ancient water

May 15, 2013

Water drilled from rock in a North American mine is among the oldest yet found on Earth, say scientists.
Novel dating techniques used by the Canadian and UK team suggest the fluid is at least 1.5 billion years old.
The water was probably once on the surface and then percolated through the ground where it became trapped at a depth of 2.4km.

Toxic Wasteland Named After the Lake it Destroyed

Cajamarca, Peru
Balazs Gardi, May 2, 2013

The Yanacocha goldmine was named after the lake that had since been destroyed by the company after the operation started twenty years ago. Up to date the mine produced over $7 billion worth of gold for its Denver, Colorado based owners, destroyed over 250 square kilometers alpine wetland, poisoned over a thousand Peruvian people with mercury, and contaminated lakes and streams with cyanide and other acidic runoffs.

Space Innovators

April 25, 2012
The Daily Show

Wealthy “spend-o-nauts” announce plans to mine asteroids for precious minerals, and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson reveals whether or not it’s bulls**t.

How asteroid mining could turn billionaires into trillionaires

April 25, 2012
The Christian Science Monitor

A cadre of Silicon Valley tycoons have announced plans to extract water and precious metals from near-Earth asteroids.

In addition to mining for platinum and other precious metals, the company plans to tap asteroids’ water to supply orbiting fuel depots, which could be used by NASA and others for robotic and human space missions.

“There is a view out there that says if it’s more than a few thousand feet deep we don’t really care … just go ahead and dump all that waste. There is an opposite view that says no, that is not sustainable water management policy”

− Mike Wireman,

EPA hydrologist