More than 200 peasants staged a protest against Canadian mining firm Candente Copper and blocked roadways in Cañaris, a district in northern Peru, to demand that the company cease activities in the zone, police said.

A group of residents of Cañaris on Monday blocked the access road to the Cañariaco camp, where Candente Copper is making surveys to determine the copper and gold reserves in the area, while another group marched to the company's facilities to hold a protest vigil.

Officials sent 300 police officers to Cañaris to prevent disorder in the vicinity of the mining camp, the head of the Territorial Police Directorate for the Lambayeque region, Jorge Linares, told the official Andina news agency.

Candente Copper is scheduled to invest $1.5 billion in the development of the Cañarico mine to produce 262 million pounds of copper annually, as well as smaller quantities of gold and silver, over a period of 22 years. EFE