Commodities Buzz: Tn++a Marn++a copper project gaining legitimacy in Peru

Southern Coppers Manager of Technical Services, Carlos Aranda, said this week that the $ 1.4 billion Tía María copper project, located in the southern Peruvian region of Arequipa, is gaining legitimacy amongst the population.

In a conference held before Perus Mining Engineers Institute, Aranda said that the company, a subsidiary of Grupo México, has been able to knock down previous resistance from local communities. The executive said that people living in villages adjacent to the mine have seen how the province of Islay can benefit from the miners social responsibility projects and, therefore, are now in favour of the plan. The Arizona-based firm financed pre-investment and investment studies for the construction of two hospitals and a clean water plant in the area.

The Tía María plan, however, has been halted and readjusted twice since it first came up, around 2010, due to fierce opposition by locals who were worried about its environmental impacts and the possibility of an open-pit mine damaging crops.

Carlos Aranda added that Southern Copper expects Tía María to receive its construction permit this year so that it can be up and running by 2020. The mine is forecast to produce 120,000 tonnes of copper a year for an estimated 20-year lifespan.