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Firm offers pause in disputed mine

A Mexican-owned mining company proposed a 60-day halt in a huge project in southern Peru following two months of protests in which three people have been killed and more than 200 injured.

Southern Copper Corporation president Oscar Gonzalez said the "pause" would let all sides air concerns and "identify solutions".

Protesters in Cocachacra, the centre of the conflict, said they have no intention of backing down from their demand that the £890 million Tia Maria project be cancelled.

Locals fear it will contaminate crops in the fertile Tambo valley. The company says the project would will take water from the Pacific Ocean and return it there after processing.

Earlier yesterday, President Ollanta Humala said cancelling the project would expose Peru to lawsuits and make it less attractive to investors.

Protests against the project in 2011 also claimed three lives.

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