任職保育瀕危哺乳動物組織的安地斯貘基金會（Andean Tapir Fund）總負責人當挪接著表示，「這些開採計畫將會破獲或污染多數位在祕魯北部的重要淨土，如雲霧林（cloud forests）及禿高原（paramo）。」他表示，至今高山貘仍棲息於採礦權範圍內的區域，「此區域為秘魯最寶貴的貘棲息地。」
The government of Peru has approved the request of British mining company Monterrico Metals to acquire a buffer zone around eight core mining concessions of the company's Rio Blanco Project in the high mountains of northern Peru.
The approval was granted against the will of the local residents, who are planning a public meeting this coming Saturday to protest the decision on environmental grounds.
The Rio Blanco copper and molybdenum deposit is one of the largest undeveloped copper resources in the world. Monterrico plans to develop Rio Blanco as a conventional open pit mine, producing copper and molybdenum concentrates, saying that at planned production rates, Rio Blanco will be among the 20 largest copper mines in the world.
The additional area granted to Monterrico comprises 27 mining concessions totaling 21,794.69 hectares located in the provinces of Huancabamba and Ayabaca in the Department of Piura. The newly approved concessions more than quadruple the original amount of land open to mining by Monterrico.
Many local citizens believe that with Decree 024-2008-DE President Garcia has given away their community territory against the popular will. A public referendum on September 16, 2007 resulted in an overwhelming rejection of the mining project.
"These mining projects will also place into serious jeopardy the water supply for a large portion of northern Peru and southern Ecuador," he said.
Thousands of farming families depend upon this river water to cultivate orchards of carob bean, mango, guava, chirimoyo, lemons and avocados, as well as rice, organic coffee and cotton, and many other fruits and vegetables.
"These mining projects will destroy and/or contaminate much of northern Peru's most important undisturbed cloud forests and paramos," said Downer, who is president of the Andean Tapir Fund, a nonprofit organization for the conservation of this endangered mammal.
Mountain tapirs still inhabit the area of the mining concessions, which Downer characterizes as Peru's "most important bastion for this species."