Chinese mining major Chinalco Mining has been forced to shut down operations at its Toromocho copper project in Peru, after a national watchdog alleged that the company was breaching environmental laws.
The Environmental Evaluation and Audit branch of the Peruvian Ministry of Environment has cautioned Chinalco’s subsidiary Minera Chinalco Perú for non-compliance of laws, citing toxic discharges in two highlands lakes.
The agency has ordered the company to call-off commissioning works at the mine until the matter is resolved.
Meanwhile, Chinalco has said it is taking appropriate steps to resume mining operations at the earliest opportunity.
Halting the mining operation has not affected the company’s processing plant and other ancillary operations, the company said.
Chinalco had commenced operations at the Toromocho project occurred on 10 December 2013, and is scheduled to reach full production capacity during the third quarter of the year.
The company conducted continuous adjustment and testing on the installations during the commissioning of the Toromocho project.
The developments may affect the performance of copper on the London Metal Exchange, which is already poor with demand from top consumer, China, slowing down.