Resettlement of the city of Morococha
Toromocho Project, Junin, Peru
Chinalco Peru is a subsidiary of the Aluminium Corporation of China and is developing the Toromocho Project, located in the Morococha district in the region of Junin, in the central Andes in Peru, 4,600 meters above sea level.
Toromocho was identified as a world class deposit with large copper and molybdenum reserves. The mine included a plant that could process up to 117,200 tons per day. The project will demand a total investment of 4,800 million dollars. Its principal social challenge was the resettlement of the city of Morococha, a city with over 5,000 inhabitants.
Throughout 2006, SCG facilitated the participatory process that resulted in the population’s acceptation of the resettlement process during a public hearing convened by the Morococha Municipality.
Since 2009, SCG led the process to resettle the city of Morococha in order to allow for the development of the Toromocho mine. SCG drafted and implemented the social impact study and the Resettlement Action Plan using a participatory process that involved the population in the definition of the new site, the list of families that would benefit, the design of housing and the location of the families and commercial areas within the new city’s neighborhoods.
SCG provided each family with detailed information about the progress being made towards building the new city. It implemented a local communications program that involved continuous door-to-door visits to all the families, five Open Houses, in situ visits to the city as it was being built and the distribution of user-friendly printed materials to facilitate the population’s understanding of the information being provided.
In October 2012, the move to the new city began. SCG facilitated the negotiation process family by family, to avoid the risk of conflict. More than 1300 families, along with public schools, health centers, police, the municipality, museums, markets, sports grounds, community centers, churches, commercial centers, etc. moved to Nueva Morococha and other cities in the Junin region. SCG accompanied and supported each family in their move, ensuring optimum conditions in their new location.
SCG monitored the population’s social conditions during this process. We have carried out four population and housing censuses since 2006 and we provided all the information required by the Peruvian State’s supervising bodies. SCG also identified the vulnerable families needing priority treatment during the resettlement process and helped small local businesses to value their income, given that their informal nature made it difficult for them to show their real income.
In order to maintain Morococha’s history, SCG ran a participatory process for people to photographically register local families’ daily lives, in which the young people of the city participated. An exhibition of these photos inaugurated the new museum in Nueva Morococha.
One of the reference points for the resettlement was the Resettlement Roundtable in Morococha, made up of civil society representatives, local, regional and national authorities and the Chinalco mining company. SCG worked with this forum to facilitate the process to assign surplus housing in the new city and provided them with information from the planning to the implementation stages of the move.