* Cost impact study to be finished in coming weeks * Newmont to invest "last drop of sweat" in stalled project LIMA, March 14 (Reuters) - Newmont Mining Corp. is reevaluating the cost of its delayed Conga gold and copper project, the costliest mine ever proposed in Peru, the company's senior vice president in South America said on Wednesday. The project, launched with an announced investment of $4.8 billion last year, has been stalled since November due to opposition from farmers and local government officials, costing the company millions. "Obviously the paralyzation is having an impact... in the first few days we said it was around $2 million per day but we have reduced activity to control costs," said Carlos Santa Cruz, Newmont's top executive in Peru and regional vice president. He said the company had terminated contracts with some 6,000 people in order to lower financial pressures on the site in the northern region of Cajamarca. "We hope to finish the evaluation in the next few weeks to see what the impact from the paralyzation will be," Santa Cruz told journalists. "Obviously having indefinite costs and expenditures isn't feasible." Newmont and its Peruvian partner Buenaventura are waiting for the government's go ahead to restart construction after a team of international experts weighs in on the project's environmental impact study, which was approved by the previous government. "We have completed all the legal requirements and we've even taken on an additional administrative process to generate more confidence," Santa Cruz said, referring to the audit that is expected to be completed the first week of April. Local political leaders want to stop the mine from being built, saying it would replace a string of alpine lakes with artificial reservoirs and cause pollution. They have said they will not accept the opinion of the audit, calling it biased. Newmont says the reservoirs will provide additional water for farmers in times of drought and that its environmental impact study complies with the highest international standards. President Ollanta Humala, a one-time radical who abandoned his leftist discourse before taking office in July, says he is committed to seeing the project through. He appointed new ministers with a more law-and-order bent in December to clamp down on the protests that could threaten $50 billion in investment destined for Peru in coming years. But Humala also wants to ensure mining companies are socially and environmentally responsible and risks losing support among Peru's rural poor if he appears too lenient with foreign companies. Many analysts consider Conga to be the Andean country's most pressing domestic issue. Santa Cruz said Newmont is committed to seeing the project through and to continuing its nearly two-decade-long history of operating in Peru. "We are going to invest the last drop of sweat we have, the last bit of energy so that this project advances," he said.