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Jose De Echave Resigns: Peru Mining Official Quits Amid Protests

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JOSE DE ECHAVE RESIGNS
A graffitti reading 'Water is life no Conga mine' is see on the road to the Yanacocha mine in Cajamarca, Peru on November 25, 2011. (ERNESTO BENAVIDES/AFP/Getty Images) | Getty File

LIMA, Peru -- A key official in Peru's Environment Ministry has resigned as protests persist against a $4.8 billion gold mining project by peasants who fear it will damage their water supply.

Deputy minister Jose de Echave tells The Associated Press that he quit Monday because the government "lacks an adequate strategy for dealing with social conflict."

He criticizes the decision to put the chief Cabinet minister in control of environmental impact studies for mining. Activsts say that will further emasculate the Environment Ministry, which already must defer to the Mining Ministry on such matters.

U.S.-based Newmont Mining Corp. suspended construction at the Conga gold mine for a fourth day Monday due to continuing protests.

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Protests mount against proposed gold mine in northern Peru

 
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