‘Social investment commitment’ protest halts Las Bambas

MMG has halted production at its Las Bambas copper mine in Peru beginning local time 20 April after nearby community members entered the operation in protest of what it has called the company’s failure to comply with “social investment commitments” to the area.

MMG has staunchly rejected the claims being made by members of the Fuerabamba community, who went on-site on 14 April along with members of the Huancuire community.

The actions come after an extended period of unrest in Peru, the Australian-based miner said, that have had an impact on the entire nation’s mining and resources sectors.

“The company rejects these allegations and is deeply frustrated by the community’s actions as the community has failed to comply with requests by national government agencies and Las Bambas to transparently review the status of compliance against the social commitments,” MMG and Las Bambas mine officials said.

Additionally, Las Bambas has already presented evidence of completed commitments to the government for review, it confirmed. However, a 16 April meeting left the opposing parties at a stalemate. 

There are more meetings scheduled with the Prime Minister’s office in the coming days.

In the meantime, Las Bambas will remain closed. MMG did not indicate when the mine could reopen. It did, though, confirm it is still committed to work closely with government and community members to deliver on its commitments and engage in a “transparent and constructive” dialogue toward an agreement.

Las Bambas is a joint venture project between MMG (62.5%) as operator, a wholly owned subsidiary of Guoxin International Investment (22.5%) and CITIC Metal (15%).

The open-pit operation has an estimated mine life of more than 18 years for copper, gold and silver along with molybdenum concentrate through conventional processing. In 2020, it produced 311,020 tonnes of copper concentrate and 3,167 tonnes of molybdenum concentrate. 

Source: MMG

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