Anglo American slows Peru copper project construction due to national quarantine

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Anglo American is seen on a jacket of an employee at the Los Bronces copper mine, in the outskirts of Santiago, Chile March 14, 2019. REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido

(Reuters) - Global miner Anglo American said on Tuesday it was slowing down the construction work of the Quellaveco copper project in Peru, following a 15-day national quarantine to curb the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Latin American country has suspended constitutional rights including free movement and assembly as it tries to deal with the fast-spreading virus, which had infected 71 people as of Sunday.

Anglo said the work on the project will be significantly slowed, with only critical areas of the project continuing as normal.

The Quellaveco project, with an expected capital cost of $5 billion to $5.3 billion, is expected to start production in 2022.

Anglo expects output of about 300,000 tonnes per year at a cash cost of $1.05 per pound of copper during the first ten years of full production at the project.

Copper accounts for nearly 20% of Anglo’s annual revenue.

Reporting by Shanima A in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr and Anil D’Silva