MMG Limited’s Las Bambas may be forced to go into a period of care and maintenance if there are no changes to ongoing protests in Peru, the operator has warned.
Officials said that transport disruptions have slowed down, affecting both inbound and outbound deliveries, which has resulted in a progressive slow-down to Las Bambas itself. It is now suffering a shortage of critical supplies.
“If the situation remains unchanged, the mine will be unable to continue copper production from 1 February 2023 Peru time with the operation starting a period of care and maintenance,” MMG said.
“The transport disruptions follow weeks of nationwide protests in Peru which has caused extensive unrest in the southern region affecting mining operations along the Southern Road Corridor.”
The company confirmed that it has mobilised its security team at the site, and its property remains secure.
“The company’s first priority is the health, safety and security of all employees, contractors and community members,” the company added.
MMG is controlled by state-owned China Minmetals.
Las Bambas is not alone in the problems caused by the unrest, which has been going on for nearly two months. According to Bloomberg, roadblocks are rampant, as are street demonstrations, and protestors have already stormed a Glencore operation. Some are concerned by a potentially tightening copper market as well as supply risks in adjacent Chile.
Sources: mmg.com and Peru Protests Put Huge China-Owned Copper Mine on Brink of Halt (yahoo.com)