UPDATE 1-Chile's Codelco wants arbitration with Ecuador over Llurimagua project

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SANTIAGO, April 8 (Reuters) - Chile’s state-controlled Codelco, the world’s top copper mining company, said on Thursday it had requested international arbitration with Ecuador and its National Mining Company (Enami EP) over the Llurimagua project.

Llurimagua could become the first mine Codelco operates abroad following years of scattershot efforts to expand internationally. The project, about 50 miles (80 km) northeast of Ecuador’s capital of Quito, has faced resistance from a nearby community over environmental concerns.

“Current agreements provide for an arbitration based in Paris before the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) for the resolution of controversies,” the company said in a statement.

It said it hopes the process “will allow for a mutually beneficial agreement that will lead to the development of the Llurimagua project.” (Reporting by Fabian Cambero, writing by Hugh Bronstein, editing by Chris Reese and Grant McCool)