Nationwide mine strike in Peru called “a failure”

Antamina operation in Ánchash, Peru. Photo by Antamina.

Peru’s National Federation of Mining Workers’ call an indefinite strike in protest against the government’s planned labour reform, got off to a slow start on Tuesday.

The National Society of Mining, Petroleum, and Energy (SNMPE) called it a failure saying that mines were operating normally across South American country.

Similar action by unions in 2017 also had limited impact, but any prolonged disruption could affect metals markets given that Peru is the world’s second-largest producer of copper, silver and zinc, fourth biggest lead producer and sixth-biggest gold and tin producer.

According to Mining Intelligence data Peru’s copper production topped 2.4m tonnes last year while silver output exceeded 100m ounces. Zinc production was just over 1.3m tonnes.

Peru has a total of 123 producing mines and another six currently under construction. The country is home to some of the world’s largest copper mines including Freeport’s Cerro Verde, BHP-Glencore’s Antamina and Las Bambas, owned by China Minmetals.

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