Candente Posts Worst Weekly Drop Since ‘08 on Delay: Lima Mover

Candente Copper Corp., a Canadian mining exploration company with operations in Peru, posted its biggest weekly decline in more than four years as community opposition delayed a recently restarted drilling project.

Candente fell 2.1 percent to 47 cents at the close of trading in Lima. The drop pushed the weekly loss to 22 percent, the most since November 2008.

Peru’s Deputy Mining Minister Guillermo Shinno said Jan. 16 that political groups planned to “paralyze” the Canariaco deposit in the northern Andes. The company had resumed exploratory drilling Jan. 3 after reaching an accord with the local community of Kanaris whose protests over land rights had delayed the $1.5 billion project for a year.

“Investors don’t know what to believe as no one knows who’s in charge of the community,” Jorge Ramirez, an analyst at Kallpa Securities SAB, said in a phone interview from Lima. “Someone has to come forth and clarify the situation, as things seem to be back to square one.”

Candente Chief Executive Officer Joanne Freeze said in an e-mail that she was unavailable to comment as she was meeting with Peruvian government officials.

The Vancouver-based company’s Canadian-traded shares fell 8.3 percent to 44 cents, pushing the weekly drop to 27 percent.

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