Workers at MMG’s Las Bambas mine go on indefinite strike

Las Bambas mine in Peru is considered the world’s ninth-largest copper mine. Its production, however, has been curtailed by ongoing protests. (Image courtesy of Minera Las Bambas).

A workers union at Peru’s large Las Bambas copper mine, owned by China’s MMG Ltd, on Tuesday went on strike for an indefinite period, said the union’s secretary general Erick Ramos.

Las Bambas workers are demanding greater profit sharing and better transport conditions.

The mine is one of Peru’s largest copper producers, while the country itself is the No. 2 producer worldwide.

Las Bambas put out 221,160 metric tons of the red metal from January to September this year, nearly 22% more than the same period a year ago, according to Peru’s mining ministry.

Ramos said in an interview that the union is demanding additional compensation after being informed by the company that “profits will be halved this year” and therefore there would be fewer benefits for employees under the profit-sharing scheme.

Slightly more than half of the 2,000 workers employed at the mine are part of the union, according to Ramos.

Representatives for Las Bambas did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Production at the copper mine has been recovering after a stoppage earlier this year caused by anti-government protests blocking an access road.

Las Bambas has a history of work stoppages due to protests by nearby indigenous communities calling for more benefits from the mine.

(By Marco Aquino and Kylie Madry; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Sarah Morland)

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