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Peru to Request Hochschild, Hudbay Suspend Mining Activity

Peru’s government said it will ask mining companies including Hochschild Mining Plc and HudBay Minerals Inc. to suspend operations in the southern Andes during a 30-day environmental review.

Villagers from the highland area of Chumbivilcas, who say the companies are polluting the area, called off environmental protests while a commission prepares an environmental impact report on operations at Hochschild’s Minera Ares SAC unit and Hudbay’s Constancia copper deposit, Cabinet Chief Oscar Valdes’ office said today in an e-mailed statement.

Protests by farmers last year halted projects by Newmont Mining Corp., Anglo American Plc and Southern Copper Corp. and may threaten $50 billion in mining investment commitments, according to the Andean country’s Mining Ministry. Newmont and Southern are reviewing environmental studies in a bid to jumpstart their projects.

Hudbay will continue engineering work at the Constancia project and has “excellent relationships” with communities, said John Vincic, a spokesman for Toronto-based HudBay. Hochschild’s Crespo and Azuca properties are at the exploration stage and aren’t producing, according to the company’s website.

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