Peru says 50-day protest lifted at Cuajone mine

The vast Cuajone mine complex begins with a water supply at Lake Suche at 14,500 feet in the Andes and ends with a smelter on the South Pacific coast. (Image courtesy of Fluor.)

Peru said on Friday a group of indigenous communities had lifted a protest against Southern Copper Corp’s Cuajone mine that had forced a suspension of production for more than 50 days.

The world’s No. 2 producer of copper, Peru had sent its army to restore mine operations, dismissing as “irrational” the financial demands of nearby residents.

Southern Copper has yet to say if it will restart production after the protest suspension.

Unrest spread later to MMG’s giant Las Bambas mine, Peru’s fourth-largest copper mine and the world’s ninth-largest, which has been shut and reopened at least twice this year. The latest suspension was announced this week after residents of the nearby Fuerabamba community entered the mine and set up camp inside of it.

Glencore’s Antapaccay, Peru’s sixth largest copper mine, has also been the target of demonstrators this week, according to local media.

Peru, the world’s second largest producer after Chile, is also a significant silver and zinc supplier.

The mines affected by this week’s protest produced almost 500,000 of copper combined in 2021, with Las Bambas churning out 300,000 tonnes of copper Cuajone another 170,000 tonnes.

(By Marcelo Rochabrun; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)


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