LIMA, May 07, 2010 (Dow Jones Commodities News via Comtex) -- Southern Copper Corp. (SCCO, SCCO.VL) said that it has no work under way at its Tia Maria copper project, in accordance with government regulations.
In a note to the Peruvian securities regulatory agency, Southern Copper said that it was following the rulings that prohibit work on mining being carried out there before an environmental impact study is approved.
Southern Copper was responding to a notification from the Energy and Mines Ministry that said if the company was carrying out work at the site it would be grounds to disapprove the environmental impact study.
Southern Copper also pointed out that it was abiding by the decision to allow time for a multisectoral commission to give recommendations on how that project could proceed.
The commission will have 90 days to make its recommendations known to the Ministry of Energy and Mines, which will take those recommendations into account in evaluating Southern Copper's environmental impact study.
Protesters, led by some local mayors, blocked a southern section of the Pan American highway last month, claiming any mine at Tia Maria would hurt the environment.
The protests were called off after the commission was established. Some critics of the projects claimed the company had continued to work on the project.
Southern Copper plans to spend $934 million on the Tia Maria project, which is seen producing 120,000 tons of the copper a year.
In order to open a new mine in Peru, companies must receive approval for their environmental impact studies.
Peru is the world's second largest copper producer.
Southern Copper has mines in Peru and in Mexico.