NA Miners Seek Dialogue with Peru's Humala


"Juniors in Peru urge President-Elect Humala to engage with mining industry."


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 seesawed 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%, 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. 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

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.

"We want to make sure that the message gets out that we're willing to have discussions about royalties and taxes," Bear Creek Mining CEO Andrew Swarthout said, noting that he supports Humala's efforts to resolve structural problems over the distribution of wealth.

"I'm happy to be the one that catalyzes this discussion because it needs to be made," Swarthout said. "But we expect that the rights of foreign investors and private ownership will continue to be respected."

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