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Peruvian Environment Ministry to Evaluate Mining Projects

Sept. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Peru’s Environment Ministry will help ease anti-mining protests by evaluating environmental impact studies for new projects to give them more legitimacy, President Ollanta Humala said.

Peru’s economy will expand 6 percent this year even amid social conflicts, Humala said today at a press conference in Lima. Project reviews were previously carried out by the Energy & Mines Ministry.

“This is something new and important because environmental policy is a main concern of this government,” Humala said. “This will provide greater credibility and legitimacy for environmental impact studies.”

Peru’s mining industry, the world’s third-largest copper and zinc producer, will invest $4 billion next year, 33 percent less than previously expected, as social unrest delays projects, according to the country’s National Society of Mining, Petroleum & Energy. Companies including Newmont Mining Corp., Southern Copper Corp., Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. and Bear Creek Mining Corp. postponed projects over the past year following environmental protests.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alexander Emery in Lima at aemery1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Attwood at jattwood3@bloomberg.net

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