Peru suspends USD1.4 billion mining project by Grupo Mexico

LIMA, Peru (AP) – Peruvian authorities have indefinitely suspended a planned USD1.4 billion copper mine that has roused increasing protests by its neighbours.

Energy and Mines Minister Francisco Ismodes told N television on Friday night that the Tia Maria project will be suspended until objections raised by protesting farmers are resolved.

The government granted a construction licence a month ago to the local associate of mining company Grupo Mexico. Farmers in the nearby Tambo Valley fear the open pit project will contaminate water they need, though the company said it will bring in its own desalinated water.

Protesters had blocked ports used by other mines in southern Peru.

An association of mining companies issued a statement saying the suspension is a bad signal for investors.

File photo shows soldiers near the Pampa Blanca bridge in Tambo Valley, Arequipa, Peru. – AP