April 10, 2019 / 7:18 PM / 9 days ago

MMG sends supplies to Peru copper mine after villagers suspend blockade: source

FILE PHOTO: Demonstrators block a road access to a copper mine during a protest in Fuerabamba, Apurimac, Peru, March 29, 2019. REUTERS/Mitra Taj/File Photo

LIMA (Reuters) - Chinese miner MMG Ltd has sent some supplies and personnel to its copper mine Las Bambas after protesters partially suspended their road blockades, a company source said on Wednesday, adding the mine was still producing concentrates.

Las Bambas, which had been expected to produce about 400,000 tonnes of copper this year, has been unable to transport its copper to market since early February, when the indigenous community of Fuerabamba started blocking the company from using a road that crosses its farmland in a dispute over compensation.

Earlier this month Fuerabamba protesters cut off another road, which MMG uses to transport supplies and workers, prompting the mining company to announce it was gradually winding down output at the mine.

This week villagers agreed to suspend both road blockades until Thursday, when they expect the country’s prime minister, Salvador del Solar, to visit the region to take part in talks.

Del Solar’s spokeswoman did not respond to requests to confirm the visit.

Production at Las Bambas will continue if the company can manage to send in supplies, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The company, however, was not transporting concentrates from the mine, he added.

MMG, which is controlled by state-owned China Minmetals Corp, did not immediately respond to requests for comments outside of regular working hours at its headquarters in Australia.

Reporting by Marco Aquino; Writing by Mitra Taj; Editing by Sandra Maler

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