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Peru Govt: Talks On Southern Copper's Tia Maria May Start
Jul 9,2010 08:44CST
industry news

LIMA, Jul 08, 2010 (Dow Jones Commodities News via Comtex) -- Peru's deputy minister in charge of mining said Thursday that stalled talks aimed at allowing Southern Copper Corp. (SCCO, SCCO.VL) to open the Tia Maria copper mine could resume next week.

Fernando Gala said the talks could resume following a decision to modify a government resolution that established a commission to study the project. A new resolution could be published on Sunday, he said in a statement.

Southern Copper had suspended work at its Tia Maria project in order to allow a multisectoral commission to report on various aspects of the project. Community representatives, however, have been boycotting the commission.

Southern Copper is seeking to have the government approve the environmental impact study for the project.

The new government resolution will take into account outstanding issues.

Anti-mining protesters, led by some local mayors, earlier this year blocked a southern section of the Pan American highway, claiming any mine at Tia Maria would hurt the environment.

Southern Copper plans to spend $934 million on the Tia Maria project, which is seen producing 120,000 tons of the copper a year.

Peru is the world's second-largest copper producer.

Southern Copper has mines in Peru and in Mexico.

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