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Las Bambas: Peru copper mine halts operations amid protests

Chinese mining firm MMG has announced that from Wednesday it will suspend operations at its Las Bambas mine in southern Peru "due to safety concerns" amid ongoing protests.

Las Bambas is one of Peru's largest copper mines and accounts for 2% of global copper supplies.

MMG took the step after locals entered the property to demand the company pay higher financial contributions.

The two sides are due to meet for negotiations in the coming days.

According to the president of the local mining chamber SNMPE, Raúl Jacob, 130 people from the Fuerabamba community "invaded Las Bambas" on 14 April.

The protesters, who originally lived on the land in the Apurimac region where the mine now stands before they were relocated, accuse the company of failing to meet its social investment commitments, which MMG denies.

According to one of the protest leaders, a number of agreements reached with the company as part of Fuerabamba's compensation for relocation have not been met.

"We were relocated 11 years ago, we left our land, the old Fuerabamba, where Las Bambas now operates. We fulfilled our part of the deal, but the company has not yet fulfilled theirs. We have returned to our land for those reasons, because of those breaches," Edison Vargas said.


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