MAC: Mines and Communities

Bhp Billiton To Sell Copper Mine At Tintaya

Published by MAC on 2006-02-09

PERU: BHP Billiton to sell copper mine at Tintaya

9th February 2006

The world's top miner, BHP Billiton, has said it planned to sell by midyear its Peruvian copper mine Tintaya, where it had conflicts with area residents last year.

BHP Billiton said in a statement it had "begun talks with a limited amount of companies that have expressed an interest in acquiring Tintaya," Peru's third-largest copper mine.

The Anglo-Australian giant ran into problems at Tintaya last year, halting operations for a month after residents of the nearby town of Espinar invaded the mining camp demanding closure due to contamination.

The residents also pressed BHP Billiton to make more social investment in the area, located some 1,100km south of Lima.

BHP Billiton noted in its statement that it has chosen to negotiate with companies "that meet strict criteria of financial strength and commitment to better practices in health, safety, environment and community development".

The company said it had achieved an "excellent relation" with human resources, non-governmental organisations, the Peruvian government and communities, which ensures its permanence in Peru.

"BHP Billiton will continue to operate in Peru through its stake in Antamina and believes the country has great mining potential that is attractive for investment," the company said.

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