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LIMA, June 19 (Reuters) - Peru’s energy and mines minister said on Friday that Southern Copper Corp will likely extend its 60-day “pause” of its $1.4 billion Tia Maria project past mid-July, because it needs to keep building local support.
“I think the company has known for some time that it will have to do so,” Rosa Maria Ortiz said in an interview.
Southern Copper, controlled by Grupo Mexico, announced the formal suspension of its long-stalled project on May 15 to quell deadly protests against it.
But Ortiz said she thinks the proposed copper mine might get started in a year if the company and government work closely with communities to clear up concerns over its environmental impact.
Ortiz also said that Peru’s production of copper, gold, and silver are all set to rise by 13 percent this year.
Copper output will jump 66 percent in 2016 to 2.58 million tonnes as two new mines owned by Chinese companies ramp up production, Ortiz said. (Reporting by Mitra Taj and Teresa Cespedes; Editing by Ken Wills)