MMG’s Las Bambas copper mine forced to file new environmental plan
The Peruvian government has asked MMG to resubmit an environmental plan for its Las Bambas copper mine, in order to include more feedback from local communities.
The country’s vice president, Martin Vizcarra, noted the mine will be allowed to operate as usual while it prepares an “integral” environmental impact study, local paper La República reports (in Spanish).
The move is part of the new government’s strategy to rebuild trust on the project following deadly protests from locals, which halted exports from the mine, one of the world’s biggest copper pits, in October.
Authorities had approved the mine’s environmental plan, which called for concentrates to be carried to ports by trucks instead of through a pipeline, as initially proposed.
Residents have been protesting in recent months because they said they were not consulted on the revisions to the plan and due to the ongoing noise and high levels of dust caused by hundreds of heavy vehicles that use unpaved roads close to their homes.
Peru’s economy has picked up pace in recent months mostly thanks to fresh output coming on stream from Las Bambas and other new mines, which are expected to make the country the world’s second biggest copper producer.
Las Bambas produced 35,000 tonnes of the red metal in August, or almost a fifth of Peru’s overall output, official data shows. The operation is set to deliver 400,000 tonnes of copper per year during the first five years of production.