Fri. Apr 26th, 2019

Las Bambas mine welcomes agreements and announces a "contribution" to the peasants of Peru

Las Bambas mine welcomes agreements and announces a "contribution" to the peasants of Peru

The Las Bambas copper mine, one of the most important of its kind in the world, welcomed on Sunday the agreements reached with the farmers of the Peruvian region of Apurímac who have been protesting for almost two months against their work and announced that it will give them a "contribution" as part of the solution to the conflict.

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The executive general manager of operations of the MMG America company, Suresh Vadnagra, said in a statement that the agreements are "good news for the more than 8,000 people" working at Las Bambas, which produces 2% of the world's copper, for Apurímac "and for Peru in general".

"We hope that the release of blocked roads in the coming days can be completed in order to operate normally," he said.

The representative added that the company "remains committed to continue working" with communities, authorities "and all interested parties to better address current concerns and seek sustainable solutions to them."

"We will continue to support the dialogue to find common points and sustainable solutions to the concerns of our neighboring communities and we will seek to improve our communication mechanisms with them," he said.

The statement said that among the agreements is that the company "makes a contribution in favor of the community of Fuerabamba to end any dispute arising from the Yavi Yavi farm, which was delivered to the community as part of the resettlement agreement."

Vadnagra thanked, in addition, "all the efforts made by the Government to promote spaces for dialogue to seek a solution to this situation" and welcomed the mediation of the Peruvian Episcopal Conference (CEP) and the Ombudsman's Office.

The Government of Peru announced on Saturday an agreement with representatives of the communities and MMG to solve the protest, after a meeting attended by the Prime Minister, Salvador del Solar, the president of the community of Fuerabamba, Gregorio Rojas, and a representative of Las Bambas.

After the meeting, held for more than eight hours at the headquarters in Lima of the CEP, the participants announced the commitment of the peasant leaders to allow free transit of trucks from the mine and the Government to invest in the development of the area .

If these measures are complied with by the comuneros, the Executive undertook to immediately lift the state of emergency (exception) and to send this week a commission of ministers, led by Del Solar, to analyze and reach agreements on the works and programs of development that will be implemented.

It was also announced that the mining company and the community of Fuerabamba reached a "mutually satisfactory" economic agreement that puts an end to any controversy over the property of the farm that is located in their territory and that Las Bambas will employ the comuneros in all cases in which this has not been fulfilled since 2014 and until this year.

In spite of this announcement, representatives of the communities in the protest zone demanded that the visit of the president of Peru, Martín Vizcarra, and that his legal advisors be released, who are serving preventive detention for 36 months accused of extortion.

Las Bambas, transferred in 2014 from the Swiss Glencore to MMG, of Chinese capital, for about 10,000 million dollars, is located in the province of Cotabambas, in the Apurímac region, at 4,000 meters of altitude.

The deposit has reserves calculated at 7.5 million tons of copper, of which 452,000 were extracted in 2018, representing 2% of the 20 million tons that occurred worldwide and 18.8% of the 2.4 million tons contributed by Peru, the second world producer of copper, silver and zinc.

The company detailed on Sunday that it is in its third year of production, of a total of 18 years of useful life that have the confirmed resources of the operation, and that the royalties generated from 2016 to date amount to more than 750 million soles (227 million dollars) that, as indicated, benefits 84 municipalities of Apurímac.


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