Peru sends troops to quell mine protest

The Peruvian government has deployed troops near the Tia Maria copper project, to deal with the deaths of a protester and a policeman over the past week.

The troops were sent to "help maintain law and order" following weeks of violent protests, the BBC reported on Saturday. The news outlet added that the Peruvian government has not ruled out declaring a state of emergency.

For years farmers, anti-mining activists and local leaders have opposed the project, which they argue will pollute key waterways for Arequipa, the southern state where the Tia Maria mine will be built.

In response, Southern Copper (NYSE, LON: SCCO), one of the world’s biggest producers, has reworked its project several times to gain approval. The goal was finally reached in August 2014, with the Peruvian government declaring the miner’s EIA complied with all the demands brought forward by locals and environmentalists.

However a new set new set of protests began in March and three people have died since, according to the BBC, including one person killed and 12 others seriously injured in April when police opened fire on a group of farmers protesting against the $1.4 billion Tia Maria copper project.