With a $58.5 billion pipeline of projects, Peru’s new president Martin Vizcarra’s government intends to encourage mining that would take advantage of improved mineral prices, but he said the government will not impose mining projects on communities that object to them.
Reuters reported that in the past decade, Southern Copper Corp and Newmont Mining Corp have shelved proposed mines in Peru because of opposition from communities worried about the environmental impact - one of the biggest hurdles to building mines in the world’s No. 2 copper producer.
Peruvian Prime Minister Cesar Villanueva said the government would encourage mining but only approve projects that respect the environment and have support from communities.
“We’re not going to impose any mining project without communities feeling at ease first ... that’s what dialogue is for,” Villanueva told a news conference when asked if the government would approve Southern Copper’s $1.4 billion Tia Maria project this year.
Southern Copper, controlled by Grupo Mexico, suspended Tia Maria in 2015 to calm protests by farmers that had turned deadly.
But Southern Copper said last year it expected the government to grant a construction permit for Tia Maria in 2018.
Peru has a $58.5 billion pipeline of mining projects, according to the Energy and Mines Ministry.