LIMA – Peru’s Energy and Mines Ministry said that Canadian-owned miner IAMGOLD Corp. has no authorization to explore for minerals in the Amazon region, where the company’s presence has spurred protests by indigenous communities.
The information was supplied by the head of the ministry’s Environmental Affairs office, Felipe Ramirez, after Indians in the Peruvian Amazon complained about IAMGOLD’s activities.
Ramirez’s comments also came after an IAMGOLD representative denied to Efe that some of its employees were being held hostage by area residents and said the company would probably abandon its concession in the Amazon.
Yet, according to Ramirez, IAMGOLD has no concession for exploration or mining in the region.
“What they are doing is illegal,” the official said, adding that the Canadian firm has not even sought authorization to operate in the Amazon.
Aidesep, an organization representing indigenous communities in Peru’s Amazon region, said Thursday that five IAMGOLD employees were detained by residents of two communities after entering the Indian territories without permission from local authorities.
Those five people were engaged in taking soil and water samples, IAMGOLD executive Louis Gariepy said. EFE