Peru suspends Southern Copper’s licence on Tía María project

12 August 2019 (Last Updated August 12th, 2019 13:43)

The Ministry of Energy and Mines in Peru has suspended a construction licence issued to Southern Copper’s $1.4bn Tía María copper project.

Peru suspends Southern Copper’s licence on Tía María project
Upon completion, the mine is expected to produce 120,000t of copper a year. Credit: Jonathan Zander.

The Ministry of Energy and Mines in Peru has suspended a construction licence issued to Southern Copper’s $1.4bn Tía María copper project.

The project is located in the southern Islay province of the Arequipa region in Peru.

The announcement was made based on last month’s request made by the regional government of Arequipa, the Association of Workers of the Chucarapi Pampa Blanca Sugar Processing Plant, and the Board of the Valle del Tambo residents, to review Southern’s project.

The permit will be suspended until government officials evaluate legal objections from local authorities in the Arequipa region where the mine would be built, reported Reuters.

The review is likely to take two to three months.

Upon completion, the mine project is expected to produce 120,000t of copper a year. The project has been the focus of debate on whether tax revenues from mines outweigh the objections of people who live close to them.

According to the news agency, Ismodes said that the permit was suspended to comply with a unanimous decision by a government mining commission.

The company had publicly urged Vizcarra’s government for a construction license grant to keep its environmental plan from expiring on 1 August, which would have delayed the project by at least one more year.

In March 2015, Southern Copper scrapped plans for further development of the $1.4bn mine project.

The following month, Peruvian Ministry of Energy and Mines said the government may ask the company to make further modifications to the Tía María mine.

In May the same year, the Peruvian Government said that it was reportedly in talks with local farmers to address their concerns on the proposed copper mine.