Las Bambas mine resumes copper output; transportation still halted

(Reference image by the Peruvian Ministry of Energy and Mines, Twitter).

MMG Ltd resumed copper production at its Las Bambas mine in Peru after a protest was lifted, a source close to the company said on Monday, but added that transportation of the metal to port remained blocked by a separate conflict.

Las Bambas had reduced its operations to 30% of its usual capacity earlier this month due to the protests.

Protests against the Chinese-owned mine are recurrent and have often disrupted operations, amid complaints by nearby indigenous communities that the company’s huge mineral wealth has not translated into better living conditions for them.

The source said a protest in the town of Challhuahuacho had been lifted, which allowed production to resume.

But a separate protest blocking the road that Las Bambas uses to transport its copper onto a seaport for shipment to clients remained blocked along the Chumbivilcas province.

Peru is the world’s No. 2 copper producer and Las Bambas ranks among its largest producers of the red metal.

Since Las Bambas began operations in 2016, the miner has faced over 540 days of road blockades, according to statistics kept by the company.

(By Marco Aquino; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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