Peru strikes deal to avoid road blockade at Las Bambas mine

Protesters block traffic near Las Bambas mine in Peru. (Credit: GEC)

Peru’s government said on Tuesday it had reached an agreement with MMG Ltd’s Las Bambas mine and the local Chumbivilcas community to avoid road blockades that have threatened production at the huge copper mine.

The country’s mining minister said in a tweet that the parties had reached the agreement in talks in the capital, following a temporary halt to the road blockades last week after three weeks of protests.

The deal, according to a copy of the agreement seen by Reuters, says Las Bambas will look to hire Chumbivilcas residents to provide services to the mine, including helping transport minerals and maintaining key transit roads.

Chumbivilcas residents had blockaded the key mining corridor used by Las Bambas for three weeks in September, almost causing the mine to suspend production. The mine produces some 2% of global copper.

The deal, brokered by the leftist government of President Pedro Castillo, seeks to stave off future conflicts that have hampered the mine for years. Chumbivilcas leaders had said they would block the road once again if no deal was signed on Tuesday.

At least one more deal needs to be reached to avoid fresh tensions arising.

The nearby Cotabambas community is expecting to conduct its own round of negotiations next week with the government. They are seeking higher spending on their communities from the taxes paid by Las Bambas.

(By Marcelo Rochabrun and Adam Jourdan; Editing by Bill Berkrot)


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