LIMA (Reuters) – Peru’s government on Tuesday called for a new round of talks with protesting indigenous communities that have forced MMG Ltd’s Las Bambas mine to suspend operations for over a month, as the police suggested that they were ready to intervene.
The government of Peru, the world’s No. 2 copper producer, has repeatedly failed to negotiate an end to the standoff involving six neighboring communities to Las Bambas that say the mine has failed to honor commitments made to them.
Two of them entered and settled inside the mine in mid-April and one, the Huancuire community, still remains inside Las Bambas, one of the world’s largest copper mines, in Peru’s Apurimac region.
“We are working currently to see when is the best moment (for a police intervention),” Roger Perez, the police general in charge of Apurimac, told RPP radio on Tuesday.
“We are in the countdown (stage), it will take place soon,” he added.
Alexander Anglas, a lawyer for the Huancuire community, said the communities will participate in the new round of talks, which has been scheduled for Thursday, and are requesting clarification from the police on Perez’s remarks.
Las Bambas suspended operations on April 20. The mine, which opened in 2016, is notorious for its social conflicts with dozens of different indigenous communities, which have significantly affected copper output in the past.
(Reporting by Marcelo Rochabrun and Marco Aquino; Editing by Mark Porter)