Peru’s Kuczynski wants to relax air standards to spur refining – by Marco Aquino (Reuters U.S. – July 14, 2016)

LIMA – Peru’s President-elect Pedro Pablo Kuczynski called Peru’s air quality standards “unrealistic” on Wednesday and proposed lowering them to spur investments in smelters that would boost the country’s key mineral exports.

Kuczynski, a 77-year-old former investment banker who will take office on July 28, said the value of Peru’s mining exports could rise 25 percent solely through greater smelting and refining capacity.

In a speech to farmers in the town of Ica, he said “unrealistic” environmental rules were blocking needed investments.

“Our standards for emissions are more demanding than in Finland, that’s why more smelting and processing plants aren’t built. We have to change that!” Kuczynski said in broadcast comments.

Kuczynski did not specify which rules should be changed. However, Peru’s standard for sulfur dioxide emissions, a byproduct of the smelting copper and other base metals, has in the past been criticized as too strict by the mining industry.

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