Peru copper output drops 11.2% in May after stoppage at key mine

Las Bambas mine in Peru. Image courtesy of MMG

Peru said on Wednesday that its copper output fell 11.2% in May from a year-ago after a stoppage at its Las Bambas mine and lower quality production in other deposits.

Output from the world’s second biggest copper producer totaled 174,258 tonnes in May, while output in the first five months of the year reached 898,175 tonnes, representing a drop of 0.3%, the Energy and Mines Ministry said in a report.

Las Bambas, owned by Chinese conglomerate MMG Ltd, was paralyzed from the second half of April to early June.

Southern Copper Corp’s Cuajone mine, meanwhile, was also stopped for almost two months until April due to a protest.

In addition to the Las Bambas stoppage, the ministry noted the lower output reflected a 26.8% drop in production volume by Southern Copper due to lower quality of its output.

That was partially offset by higher production at the Antamina mine, controlled by Glencore PLC and BHP Group Ltd, and in Cerro Verde, owned by Freeport-McMoRan Corp, which rose 3.8% and 12.6% respectively.

(By Marco Aquino and Gabriel Araujo; Editing by Alexander Smith)


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