Trevali’s Santander zinc mine in Peru hit by blockade

Canada’s Trevali Mining (TSX:TV) revealed Wednesday it had temporarily halted operations at its Santander zinc mine in Peru, as a small group of locals blocked access to the installations, claiming that the company had failed to satisfy its investment obligations.

As a result of the protest, the Vancouver-based firm was also unable to receive a scheduled delivery of supplies to the mine,mine is located approximately 215 km northeast of capital Lima.

The illegal action began more than three weeks ago in protest for what locals claim to be increasing pollution of their land and only water source.

“It is unfortunate that a small group of individuals chose to act in this manner instead of through open dialogue,” president and chief executive Mark Cruise said. “We have enjoyed tremendous support from the local communities at Santander over the years and will continue to work diligently with the community to strengthen our commitment to a mutually beneficial relationship.”

The illegal action, which began more than three weeks ago, saw a group of locals spend seven days blocking the only access to the mine in protest for what they call “repetitive abuse” to community members and increasing pollution of their land and only water source, local paper La República reported.

They had said they were ready to stay there indefinitely, but Trevali said barricades have been lifted, adding it expected to resume production within the week.

The miner’s shares dropped on the news, trading almost 7% lower in Toronto at 71 Canadian cents by noon local time.

Besides the Santander mine, the company owns the Caribou mine, in Canada, the Rosh Pinah mine, in Namibia and the Perkoa mine, in Burkina Faso.