An indigenous community in Peru has blocked Chinese miner MMG Ltd from using a road to transport copper from its massive Las Bambas mine to a port for shipment for the past 10 days, a lawyer representing the community said Friday.
The community of Nueva Fuerabamba says the government illegally turned the road, which runs through its farmland, into a national highway, and wants to reach a deal with the company for use of it, the lawyer, Frank Chavez said by phone.
Talks between representatives of the community and the company that were mediated by the government ended with no agreement on Thursday, Chavez said.
MMG, controlled by state-owned China Minmetals Corporation , did not immediately respond to requests for comment outside regular business hours in its headquarters in Australia.
The company has been using an alternate route to get its copper concentrates from Las Bambas to the port of Matarani for shipment, said Artemio Solano, a representative of Peru’s ombudsman’s office, which tracks conflicts in the country.
Protesters blocking roads in 2016 halted Las Bambas’ shipments of copper from Matarani and nearly paralyzed its operations.
Las Bambas, located at an altitude of about 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) in Peru’s southern Andes, produced some 385,000 tonnes of copper last year, down from about 453,000 tonnes in 2017, according to data from Peru’s energy and mines ministry.
Nueva Fuerabamba was relocated to make way for Las Bambas, which started production in 2016. Community members have said the company did not deliver all it promised in a deal that gave them a new town and farmland in a neighboring region.
Chavez said community members have still not been given land deeds in the new town.
(By Mitra Taj; Editing by David Gregorio)