Antamina is the world's third-largest zinc and eighth-largest copper mine, according to Xstrata, which along with BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining company, holds a 33.75 percent stake. It produced 334,000 tons of copper last year and 235,000 tons of zinc. Independent economist Epifanio Baca of the DESCO think tank said it earned more than $1.5 billion. Consortium partners BHP Billiton Ltd. is based in Australia, Xstrata in Switzerland, Teck-Cominco Ltd. in Canada and Mitsubishi Corp. in Japan.Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar had demanded the company be made to pay the maximum fine permitted under law, or $13.7 million, for negligence. His deputy, Mariano Castro, told The Associated Press his agency's investigation is not over. He declined to say whether more serious sanctions could be ordered. A 2009 law permits egregious violators to be suspended or even shut down.
Townsfolks Sickened After Peru Toxic Spill
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