The Company has developed a number of community programs that focus on improving living conditions and forming closer ties with local residents.
Improving Nutrition and Health
The Company created the Kunkurchaca Pilot Projects Centre in order to assist the Community with sustainable horticulture projects and to improve nutrition in the Ollachea area. In addition, to holding monthly workshops for community members to assist them in being able to produce a wider variety of crops on their own land, we have installed vegetable gardens in two local schools and provide bi-monthly training (currently halted due to COVID restrictions). The project also produces five tons of organic fruit and vegetables a year, which is distributed amongst the community. The organic varieties include chard, celery, onion, cabbage, lettuce, radish, strawberry and passion fruit. As a result the local population has daily access to a greater quantity and improved array of nutritional options.
The Kunkurchaca team also runs a project for the raising, breeding and preparation for consumption of Peruvian species meat guinea pigs. This has allowed the local community members to take advantage of the low cost production and high protein value of this domestic animal. Each month a breeding set of guinea pigs (1 male and 4 females) is provided to several families, along with information/training in the hydroponic cultivation of alfalfa for this species. About 90 families a year receive breeding sets and training. About 30% of families produce their own alfalfa hydroponically, while others rely on alfalfa produced by our project.
60 Entrepreneurial community women
The Association of Ollachea Craftswomen and Entrepreneurs (AMARE), was created by the Company and a small group of Ollachea women. It now assists, trains and facilitates about 60 mothers who produce and sell beautiful pieces of clothing made from alpaca wool. This group are currently receiving online training due to COVID protocols.
AMARE has participated in several product fairs in Lima and Puno, has established a store in Ollachea and recently received a grant from the Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Commerce and Tourism to help create its Summer 2022 line in conjunction with the Company. The Company also assisted in the establishment of a collaboration between AMARE and the renowned Toulouse Lautrec Institute. Students in the Fashion Design course have presented various designs for the upcoming AMARE Winter collection. Minera Kuri Kullu has relaunched AMARE’s website and social media platforms to promote the sale of their products.
Education, History and Values
CEMDAO Social Innovation Award
In 2011, Minera Kuri Kullu established the Ollachea Music and Dance Centre (CEMDAO) to promote the preservation of traditional culture and to develop the talent of the children and teens of Ollachea.
Participants have subsequently learned how to play a variety of instruments from native string and wind instruments, such as Charango and Zampona, to classical instruments, such as violin, guitar, accordion and keyboard. Local youth have also been trained in traditional dance from various regions of Peru.
CEMDAO’s success has been illustrated by the improvement of participants school grades and in the recovery of traditional songs and dances from the Ollachea Community, which have been registered as part of the cultural heritage of the Puno region.
In 2014, CEMDAO’s work was recognized by a national Social Innovation Award.
CEMDAO currently offers virtual classes (due to COVID protocols) and are preparing to launch their social media platforms and a video showcasing their participants talent.
Every year Minera Kuri Kullu grows 20 thousand seedlings including eucalyptus, pine, rocoto and sachatomate shrubs. The first two plant species were originally grown to remediate the exploration areas and are currently being given to community members to fence their lands and mark the boundaries of the community. The rocoto and sachatomate seedlings are planted by community members on their land, gaining significant profits from the crops sold.
The Ollachea project's kitchen and dining room waste is used in the creation of an average of 20 tons of worm humus each year. Worm farms at Kunkurchaca produce this organic fertilizer which is distributed to community farmers to improve the quality and productivity of their farms.
Boosting the Local Economy
The Company assisted in the formalization of 80 community businesses so that they are able to issue invoices and follow good health practices while providing food, hardware, stationery and other products and services. Each business has the opportunity to supply its products to the Company through a semi-annual rotational system coordinated with the Community Board of Directors.
A community transport company was created that rents 4WD vehicles to Minera Kuri Kullu. The profits have allowed the community to expand the fleet and add dump trucks. In accordance with Community/Company agreements, an excavator was donated by Minera Kuri Kullu to be used for the maintenance of internal roads and to be rented for use by neighbouring communities.
An interesting project underway and for which the Company has provided continued consultancy and training, is a Sachatomate Nectar Company. Established in connection with a group of young community members, the preparation of the beverage from field to store, with all associated work including the production chain, packaging, brand identity and sales has been researched and the proposal is awaiting a grant from the Ministry of Agriculture in order to build a production plant.
The Company signed an Artisanal Mining Exploitation Contract with the Ollachea Community for the formalization and training of artisanal miners or “historical miners”. Mining operations have been working in the area since Inca times, and in modern days became a subsistence activity that lacked environmentally responsible practices.
The contract included the construction of a magazine for the formal storage of explosives, training in the handling and scheduling of explosives use (to protect the entire community), an improved access road, general training in rock fall, toxic gases underground, first aid and other pertinent issues.
Corihuarmi Related Communities
The Santa Rosa de Atcas Medical Post was built and donated by Corihuarmi Mine in 2011. The Company continues to provide personnel and medicine for local communities’ year-round healthcare services, and medical examinations. Dental health projects have also been initiated aimed at improving oral hygiene and general dental health in the rural communities related to Corihuarmi Mine.
The Company, working with local communities, developed a shuttle bus business that offers services to the mine, including the transportation of mine workers. A laundry service was also set up in coordination with community members. A multipurpose community building was built, where a market, hotel and community meeting hall operate.
Minera IRL also holds workshops and sets up pilot projects in order to improve local agricultural output, including production of worm fertilizer and raising guinea pigs and animal feed. There are on-going veterinarian examinations for farm animals, and treatments provided to combat parasites, infectious disease and vitamin deficiency in goats, sheep, alpaca, llamas and dairy cattle.
In 2017, a trout farm was built to foster better nutrition and to generate sustainable business activities for the Huantan community (located 40kms from the Corihuarmi Mine). The farm now produces up to 20 tons of fish per annum, and last year generated a US$ 68,000 income for the community.