Avanco axes Brazil copper mine production over truck drivers strike

Australia’s Avanco Resources (ASX: AVB) said Tuesday it had suspended plant operations and most mining activities at its Antas copper-gold asset in Brazil, as a result of a crippling nine-day strike that has led to major shortages and disruptions in Latin America’s largest nation.

The company had warned last week that operations at the open pit mine would be affected by the strike, as fuel and consumables failed to be delivered to site, while road blocks on highways prevented sending output to port.

In addition to activities at Antas being scaled back, Avanco also said it had suspended the drilling programme at its Pantera copper project, which it acquired in January from mining giant Vale (NYSE:VALE).

The company noted it had sufficient working capital to continue paying creditors, but said the impact of the strike on operating costs and production guidance for 2018 could be accurately determined at the moment.

Protesting drivers have been blocking roads across the country over a  rise in diesel costs from 3.36 reais ($0.92) a litre in January to 3.6 reais ($0.96) before the strike. On May 26, it hit 3.8 reais ($1.02) per litre.