(Adds comment from company spokesman in fourth paragraph.)
Feb. 9 (Bloomberg) -- 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.
--With assistance from Liezel Hill in Toronto. Editors: Tina Davis, Jonathan Roeder
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