The latest news on Tía María is that the Consejo de Minería has announced that it will rule by the end of October on whether the project should go ahead. There will be hearings from both sides of the debate (the communities of the Tambo valley and Southern Peru Copper) during October followed by a verdict. This is earlier than previously announced, possibly in response to the continuing degree of unrest with the strike in the Tambo valley now well into its second month.

Accusations have been flying around as to responsibilities for the unrest. The latest has been the president of Congress, Pedro Olaechea, proclaiming that the protests are being promoted by NGOs receiving international finance, specifically from George Soros.

The Consejo de Minería is the organ within the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) with responsibility for pronouncing on administrative matters. It has six members with a mix of backgrounds in law and engineering, extensive public sector experience and some private sector.

The recurso presented by the governor of Arequipa, Elmer Cáceres, was referred to the Consejo for its response back in July. The case made in the recurso (a document with no legal force but requiring a response) makes the case against the construction permit, arguing that prior work and commitments recommended by the MEM had not taken place.