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Peruvian community blocks road used by MMG copper mine, source says -Breaking


© Reuters. A general view of MMG La Bambas’s mining operation in an area where people claim that mining has adversely affected crops and killed livestock. It is located outside Cusco (Peru), October 14, 2021. REUTERS/Angela Ponce

By Marcelo Rochabrun

LIMA (Reuters – LIMA – The community of the Peruvian Andes blocked a major transport route used by MMG’s Las Bambas mining operation, a source close the Chinese company claimed on Wednesday. This is the least third such blockade this year.

According to a source, Urinsaya in Espinar is 250km (155 miles), from Las Bambas. It blocked the road Tuesday.

Reuters could not reach a representative from Urinsaya. However, Flavio Huanque of Espinar confirmed that the blockade had been established and stated that Urinsaya wanted financial support from Las Bambas.

Las Bambas, which produces 2 % of the global copper production, is a crucial part of Peru’s economic development. Peru is also the No. 1 country in terms. The red metal is the No. 2 exporter.

Las Bambas uses a dirt road that is often tense. The road crosses dozens of poor Andean communities, who have blocked it in protest of what they consider the mine’s failures to improve their lives.

Las Bambas has been blocked by communities since its opening in 2016. Reuters reported earlier this year that conflicts affecting Las Bambas were extending further and further away from the mine, as more communities demand that benefits from mining activities trickle down. Urinsaya, about four-hours drive away from Las Bambas.

Earlier this year, the government and Las Bambas reached a deal with the community of Ccapacmarca to lift a blockade that caused the miner to slow down operations. Another blockade at the mine triggered a complete shutdown that lasted more than one week.

Recurrent blockades also have weighed down the MMG shares owned by China and its copper production.

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