Peru’s precious metals mining company Compañia de Minas Buenaventura (Buenaventura) has temporarily suspended mining activities at Colquijirca’s Tajo Norte open-pit mine.

The Tajo Norte mine exploits zinc-lead-silver ores in the Colquijirca District in the province of Pasco.

Buenaventura has submitted a notice on the exploitation work suspension at the mine for up to three years to the Peruvian Ministry of Energy and Mines.

The decision comes due to a delay in the approval for Colquijirca’s Modification of Environmental Impact Assessment.

In a press statement, the company said: “This delay was caused by various events, including administrative delays related to the Covid-19 pandemic, Peru’s related 2020 state of emergency, as well as recent 2022 regulatory changes related to the processing of environmental assessments.”

However, the firm company plans to carry out only exploration activities, stockpiled ore rehandling at the concentrator plant, water management, and care and maintenance activities at Colquijirca’s Tajo Norte mine.

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Buenaventura will continue to operate the Marcapunta underground mine, which is also located in the district of Colquijirca.

The company is planning to increase production at the Marcapunta mine from 10,000 tonnes per day (tpd) to 12,000tpd in the following two to three years.

In a statement, the company said: “The Company will maintain its focus on improving operating efficiency to remain competitive while mining activities at Tajo Norte are suspended.”

Buenaventura also operates other mines in Peru, including Coimolache, El Brocal, Julcani, La Zanja, Orcopampa, Tambomayo and Uchucchacua.