Jul 09, 2012 (Dow Jones) LIMA--The board of directors of Anglo American PLC (AAL.LN, AAUKY) plans to meet in October to vote on approving its $3 billion Quellaveco copper project in Peru, the company said Monday.
Amalia Ruiz, Anglo American's head of corporate communications in Peru, told Dow Jones Newswires that if Quellaveco is approved, the construction of the mine could start shortly after.
Quellaveco is one of Peru's biggest copper projects, but it has faced delays due to opposition by local communities and politicians over concerns about water supply in the country's southern arid coastal region of Moquegua.
A number of other large-scale mining projects in Peru have also been delayed due to community opposition, which often leads to violent protests. Resolving the protests is seen as one of President Ollanta Humala's main challenges.
Anglo American has been holding talks with local officials in Moquegua to reach an agreement that is intended to resolve environmental and social concerns.
Ms. Ruiz said that the company hopes to sign a 23-point agreement with the officials this week. She said that Anglo American still requires some permits to start construction at Quellaveco. However, it has received approval from the government of the key environmental impact study.
Production at Quellaveco could start in 2016. The mine is slated to produce 225,000 tons of copper per year
Anglo American has an 81.9% stake in the project, while Japan's Mitsubishi Corp. (MSBHY, 8058.TO) holds the remainder.