* Gov't says environmental impact study "inadmissible"
* Company set to discuss project's fate this month
* Project hit by violent protests involving farmers
(Adds details on project, background)
LIMA, April 8 Peru's government said on Friday
an environmental impact study presented for Southern Copper's
(SCCO.N) $1 billion Tia Maria mine was "inadmissible," the
latest setback to hit the project.
Southern Copper's chief executive Oscar Gonzalez said last
week he would discuss whether to continue with the project at a
board meeting later this month, following violent protests by
local farmers. [ID:nN29299135]
Southern Copper, a unit of Grupo Mexico (GMEXICOB.MX) and
one of the world's largest producers of the red metal, will
have to present a new study if it wants to move forward, a
mining ministry spokeswoman said.
"This takes things back to square one," she said.
Peru's government had already halted the evaluation of the
environmental impact study in a bid to quell local residents'
anger over the project, which they fear could affect water
Clashes over natural resources are common and sometimes
deadly in Peru. Many Peruvians feel left out of a decade-long
economic boom, and how to share the benefits of the nation's
natural resources has been a key issue in campaigning for
Sunday's presidential election.
Tia Maria would produce 120,000 tonnes of copper a year,
according to Southern Copper. Peru is the world's third-largest
(Reporting by Patricia Velez; Writing by Helen Popper and
Caroline Stauffer; editing by Jim Marshall)