Peru’s government reached an agreement with informal miners that have been protesting throughout the Andean country over efforts to regulate their activities, daily Peru.21 reported.
Thousands of informal miners began protests last week to pressure the government to change a deadline and other conditions for them to regulate. The miners said they wanted the government to extend an April 19 deadline to register their activities.
Peruvian officials, including President Ollanta Humala, had said they wouldn’t budge on that deadline and wouldn’t be pressured into other demands.
After an eight hour meeting, the government and representatives from informal miners said they agreed to maintain the deadline, however they also established a new phase in the regularization process, details of which were not immediately available.
The meeting included mining commissioner Daniel Urresti, deputy environment minister Mariano Castro and deputy mines minister Guillermo Shino on the government’s side. On the informal miners side, there were representatives from groups in Arequipa, Apurimac, La Libertad and Ayacucho, among others.
While the agreement may help to ease tensions in those regions, including the lifting of road blockades, the demonstrations may continue in other mining-intensive regions.
Representatives of informal miners from Madre de Dios region and Puno region, both in Southern Peru, did not participate in the meeting. Madre de Dios and Puno are major producers of illegally-mined gold.