Worker at Newmont Peru joint venture kidnapped then freed-spokesman

Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:02am EST

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Jan 17 (Reuters) - Protesters in northern Peru abducted a contract security worker at Newmont Mining Corp's Conga project on Thursday and held him until the early hours of Friday morning, a spokesman for the U.S. miner's Peruvian joint venture said on Friday.

Yanacocha, controlled by Newmont, owns the huge Yanacocha gold mine as well as nearby Conga, a copper-gold project that has been the focus of years of sometimes violent unrest.

Yanacocha spokesman Roberto Del Águila said in an interview the worker had been released. A statement from the venture said authorities had been notified.

Newmont halted Conga's construction in 2011, saying it would focus on winning the support of local communities.

Peruvian miner Buenaventura has a 43.65 percent stake in the venture.

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