LIMA (Reuters) – A Peruvian community on Monday said it would not block the key mining road used by MMG’s Las Bambas copper mine, according to meeting minutes seen by Reuters, which should allow the firm to resume normal operations.
Las Bambas, a massive Chinese-owned mine that supplies 2% of global copper, was operating at a reduced capacity last week and faced the possibility of suspending all operations by Feb. 20 due to a road blockade.
The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The blockade was begun on Jan. 27 by members of the Ccapacmarca district. They agreed to a truce on Sunday, but their protest was immediately followed by a threat from the neighboring Coporaque district to block the road themselves.
At a meeting with government representatives on Monday, however, leaders from Coporaque agreed not to block the road for the time being, according to the meeting minutes. A new meeting has been scheduled for Thursday.
Both Ccapacmarca and Coporaque want Las Bambas to increase financial contributions to their communities.
To transport its copper, Las Bambas uses a dirt road that traverses dozens of impoverished communities in the Peruvian Andes. The road has become a flashpoint of protests since Las Bambas opened in 2016, with protesters blocking the route for over 400 days since then.
Peru is the world’s No. 2 copper producer and Las Bambas accounts for 1% of the Andean nation’s gross domestic product.
(Reporting by Marcelo Rochabrun, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)