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Peru farmer sues miner Newmont in U.S. court over alleged abuse

LIMA, Sept 19 (Reuters) - A farmer in Peru is suing Newmont Mining Corp in U.S. federal court over allegations the miner used violence and threats to try to evict her from her home to make way for a gold project, the environmental group representing her said Tuesday.

The lawsuit filed on Sept. 15 by Maxima Acuna and her family in the U.S. district court for Delaware, where Newmont is incorporated, aims to "stop a pattern of harassment" by Newmont and its security personnel in Peru, EarthRights International said.

Acuna asked the court to try the company on counts including battery, assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress, according to the lawsuit. Damages of at least $75,000 for each affected member of Acuna's family are also sought.

Newmont did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The company's Peruvian unit has previously accused Acuna and her family of illegally occupying land that it said it had lawfully purchased in the 1990s in a highland region where it once hoped to build a $4.8 billion gold mine.

Newmont put the gold project, Conga, on hold in 2011 amid violent protests by local farmers worried about its impacts on water supplies. (Reporting By Mitra Taj; Editing by Marguerita Choy)