27 abril, 2012

Newmont would spend elsewhere if #Conga uneconomic

(Reuters) - Newmont Mining Corp would put its money into projects in other countries if environmental changes to its proposed $4.8 billion Conga gold mine in Peru proved economically unfeasible, the head of the U.S. company said on Friday.

"We have other options if it is not favorable," Chief Executive Officer Richard O'Brien told Wall Street analysts on a conference call.

He said the Conga plan, approved by Peru's government in October 2010 but the subject of intense protests by farmers and environmentalists, was reviewed this year by independent experts, who confirmed that the environmental impact met Peruvian and international standards.

But it also recommended some changes in the location of a waste dump near lakes to which local opponents have objected.

O'Brien said Newmont was assessing the economic implications of the changes. "If Conga cannot be developed ... in a safe, socially and environmentally responsible manner ... then we will reallocate that capital to other development projects in our portfolio, including opportunities in Nevada, Australia, Ghana, and Indonesia."

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