Peru clears the way for Southern Copper’s Tia Maria project

October 30, 2019

Peru’s government has given the green light for Southern Copper Corp’s much delayed Tia Maria copper project, an official told Reuters.

Southern Copper Corp., is the world’s fifth largest copper producer by output. In August, the government suspended a construction project that had been issued for the $1.4 billion project following violent protests. At the time Mines Minister Francisco Ismodes said permit would be suspended until government officials were able to evaluate its legality along with objections from local authorities in the Arequipa region where the Tia Maria was to be built.

Southern Copper, a unit of Grupo Mexico, has sought to build Tia Maria for nearly a decade, but opposition from local farmers and residents who fear pollution and loss of water supply has thwarted the effort.

The mine is expected to produce 120,000 tonnes of copper a year for an estimated 20-year lifespan.

Southern Copper, a subsidiary of Grupo Mexico, has experienced several setbacks since it first announced its intention to develop Tía María in 2010.

The construction plan has been halted and readjusted twice, in 2011 and 2015, due to fierce opposition by locals who are worried about its environmental impacts and the possibility of an openpit mine damaging crops and water supplies.

 Photo: Grupo Mexico

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