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April 19, 2022

MMG to halt Las Bambas mine operations amid protests

Fuerabamba community members accused the company of lapses in its social investment commitments.

Australia-based base metal mining company MMG has announced the cessation of operations at its Las Bambas copper mine in Peru from 20 April following protests.

The company stated that Fuerabamba community members entered the mine on 14 April, accusing the company of lapses in its social investment commitments.

Some Huancuire community members were also part of this protest.

However, expressing disappointment over the actions of the community, the miner said that it has offered evidence of completed commitments to the government for review.

Among these commitments include resettlement of the Fuerabamba community, an indigenous Quechua-speaking community, in the Nueva Fuerabamba township.

The township features modern infrastructure, health and education facilities, stated the miner.

Dismissing the charges levelled against it, the miner said: “MMG remains committed to working closely with the Government of Peru and the community members to deliver its commitments and to engage in transparent and constructive dialogue with the aim of reaching an enduring agreement.

“The site’s priority remains the health, safety and security of all employees, contractors and community members.”

Peru ranks as the world’s second-largest copper producer, with Las Bambas generating 2% of the global copper supply, stated Reuters.

The company also noted that 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.

A meeting was held, including Peru’s Minister of Mines and Energy, Fuerabamba community members and Las Bambas, on 16 April but no settlement was reached.

The company also notified that further meetings led by the Prime Minister’s Office are expected soon.

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