The Peruvian Ministry of Energy and Mines said the government may ask Southern Copper to make further modifications to its $1.4bn Tia Maria mine project in southern Peru.

The latest decision comes following protests by farmers that resulted in deaths this week, Reuters reported.

Minister Rosa Maria Ortiz said that the government in the process of holding discussions with those who are opposing the mine project, claiming that it will pollute surrounding agricultural valleys.

"If the government feels that the changes are necessary, it may ask the company to modify the project’s environmental impact study."

If the government feels that the changes are necessary, it may ask the company to modify the project’s environmental impact study, depending on the need.

In August, the environmental impact study for Tia Maria secured approval from Peru after Southern Copper announced its consent to build a desalinisation plant to avoid using local water supplies, the news agency said.

According to Ortiz, the government is assessing whether to issue a construction permit for the project and is set to finalise on the decision soon.

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Following protests by the local residents against the mine over use of water sources in the region, the mine project has been halted for three years.

In 2011, when residents clashed with police, several people died.

The residents protested compelling Southern Copper to modify its environmental impact study and conduct fresh public hearings.

The mine is located in the district of Cocachacra, province of Islay, region of Arequipa, (Peru).