Land use conflict suspends Buenaventura’s silver mine in Peru
Production at Buenaventura’s Uchucchacua (NYSE:BVN) silver-lead-zinc mine in Peru has been disrupted since Tuesday due to a dispute with the Oyon, an Andean people.
The Ovon are demanding compensation for land use, Peru’s largest precious metals miner said in a news release, Thursday.
“[M]embers of the local Oyon community have adopted a more aggressive negotiating position related to Buenaventura’s use of lands by its Uchucchacua mine. This act does not acknowledge an agreement previously established between the Oyon community and Buenaventura, which was signed in the 1970s,” reads part of Buenaventura’s public statement on the matter.
The company didn’t say how production had been disrupted, but said it will work with the Peruvian government to resolve the dispute.
Uchucchacua produced 38,000 kilograms of silver in September, according to government data supplied by Reuters.
Earlier this year Buenventura’s CEO, Victor Gobitz, said the company has no plans to restart its $5 billion Conga gold project anytime soon.
Operations at Conga were halted following local protests over land rights and environmental concerns in 2011. Later, falling gold prices also pushed the Peruvian giant to decide the mine was not viable.
Instead, BVN has switched its attention towards extending the working life of the Yanacocha gold mine, where it has a joint venture with Newmont Mining Corp (NYSE:NEM).