North American miners keen to engage with Peru's Humala

Tue Jun 7, 2011 5:29pm EDT
 
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TORONTO (Reuters) - North American miners with assets in Peru on Tuesday urged leftist President-elect Ollanta Humala to consult with them before pushing ahead with reforms but said they were committed to their operations there.

Peruvian markets, as well as shares of miners operating in the South American country, have see-sawed in the two sessions after the leftist leader's victory in a run-off election against his right-wing rival Keiko Fujimori.

While Humala has backed-down on a proposal to raise the corporate income tax rate on miners by 50 percent, investors still fear he may tighten government control over the natural resources sector and levy a windfall gains tax on miners.

Freeport-McMoRan and Newmont Mining said they intend to stay the course in Peru. Freeport owns the Cerro Verde copper and molybdenum mine, while Newmont owns the Minera Yanacocha gold mine in Peru and the Minas Congas project.

"We have conducted successful operations in Peru for an extended period and are positive about the long-term future for Cerro Verde. We will be monitoring fiscal policy affecting mining companies in the country and are progressing studies on the expansion of Cerro Verde," said Freeport spokesman Eric Kinneberg.

Newmont spokesman Omar Jabara said the company has operated in Peru since the early 1990s and was committed for the long haul.

Earlier on Tuesday, Southern Copper said it was reviewing $2 billion in planned projects in Peru, but diversified miner Xstrata and precious metals miner Buenaventura stood by their plans to invest in the Andean nation.

JUNIOR MINERS ARE OPTIMISTIC

Canadian juniors with mining operations in Peru urged the country's president-elect to engage with the mining industry before making changes to mining laws and taxes.   Continued...