Peru to negotiate with locals over the $1.4bn Tia Maria copper project

6 May 2015 (Last Updated May 6th, 2015 18:30)

The Peruvian Government is reportedly preparing to hold discussions with local farmers to address their concerns on Southern Copper's proposed $1.4bn Tia Maria copper mine.

The Peruvian Government is reportedly preparing to hold talks with local farmers to address their concerns on Southern Copper's proposed $1.4bn Tia Maria copper mine.

Locals residents have been opposed to the project due to the potential pollution of nearby water resources.

Energy and Mines Minister Rosa Maria Ortiz was quoted by Bloomberg as saying that the government is working to resolve the conflict.

During the clashes, one protestor was killed and four policemen were injured while last month, one protestor died after being shot by a police bullet.

"We are demanding an immediate investigation…and a convincing explanation about the behavior of members of the national police."

Peru Ombudsman was quoted by The Wall Street Journal as saying: "We are demanding an immediate investigation in respect to the death of Mr Checya Chura and a convincing explanation about the behavior of members of the national police in the province of Islay, especially concerning the use of force."

Since the beginning of protests in March, the clashes with protesters have injured 140 police officers.

Southern Copper said that it will use desalinated water from the ocean and ensure that dust from mining will not affect crops.

In 2011, the Tia Maria project development was halted after protests led to three deaths.

The company reworked its environmental impact study and secured government approval last year. It is yet to receive final construction permits.

Newmont Mining holds a majority stake in the Tia Maria project, which is estimated to produce 120,000t of copper a year from mid-2017.