Corporate Responsibility & Community Engagement at the Tintaya Copper Mine (A)
Located in the highlands of Peru, the Tintaya copper mine has long been a source of intense conflict between local community members and mine operators. The mine, which was owned and managed first by the Peruvian state and later by BHP Billiton, stands on 2,300 hectares of land expropriated from local subsistence farmers. In 2000, to contest this loss of land, mining-related environmental degradation, and allegations of human rights abuses, a coalition of five indigenous communities forged an alliance with a group of domestic and international NGOs to build their case against the BHP Billiton and pursue it directly with the company's Australian headquarters. The outcome of these efforts was the inception of a unique corporate-community negotiation process known as the Tintaya Dialogue Table. In December 2004, after three years of negotiation, BHP Billiton and the five communities signed an agreement compensating families for lost land and livelihoods and establishing a local environmental monitoring team and community development fund. However, just as the company resolves one conflict, another group of local stakeholders emerges with new demands--ones that the company may not be able to meet. The conflict with this new group culminates in a violent takeover of the mine in May 2005, whereupon BHP Billiton staff are forced to shut down operations, abandon the mine site, and devise a new strategy for winning back local support.
- 2006 HBS
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