March 14, 2012 / 5:08 PM / 6 years ago

Newmont reconsiders cost of delayed Peru mine

LIMA, March 14 (Reuters) - Newmont Mining Corp. is
reevaluating the cost of its delayed Conga gold and copper
project in Peru, the company's senior vice president in South
America said on Wednesday.	
    The project, launched with an announced investment of $4.8
billion last year, has been stalled since November due to
opposition from the northern Cajamarca region, costing the
company millions.	
    "Obviously the paralyzation is having an impact... in the
first few days we said it was around $2 million per day but we
have reduced activity to control costs," said Carlos Santa Cruz,
Newmont's top executive in Peru and regional vice president.	
    "We hope to finish the evaluation in the next few weeks to
see what the impact from the paralyzation will be," he told
    Newmont is waiting for the government to allow
construction to restart after a team of international experts
weighs in on the project, which would be the most expensive in
Peru's history.	
    "We have completed all the legal requirements of our country
and we've even taken on an additional administrative process to
generate more confidence," he said, referring to the audit that
is expected to be completed the first week of April.	
    Local political leaders want to stop the mine from being
built, saying it would replace a string of alpine lakes with
artificial reservoirs and cause pollution.	
    Newmont says the project will actually provide additional
water resources for farmers in times of drought.	
    Santa Cruz said the company is committed to seeing the
project through and to continuing its nearly two decade history
of operating in Peru.	
    "We are going to invest the last drop of sweat we have, the
last bit of energy so that this project advances," he said.

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