August 18, 2017 / 9:40 PM / a year ago

Peru clears road used by Las Bambas copper mine: ombudsman

LIMA (Reuters) - Protesters in Peru have removed barriers on a road used by MMG Ltd to move its copper concentrate from its Las Bambas mine to port for shipping, after the government declared a state of emergency in the region, a representative of the ombudsman’s office said Friday.

The government of centrist President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski declared a state of emergency in the region on Wednesday that suspended the right to assemble and other constitutional rights.

Locals who had taken part in the earlier protest near the town of Challhuahuacho did not resist police orders to clear the road on Thursday and Las Bambas trucks have resumed usual transit, said Artemio Solano, a regional director of the ombudsman’s office, which monitors social conflicts in Peru.

Area residents had refused to allow company trucks pass through the road in the district of Mara unless they received payment for the transit. The road had been blocked for more than a week and there were no alternate routes for the company to use, said Solano.

Chinese-owned MMG, which is in Australia, said that copper production at the mine has continued throughout the blockade.

Reporting by Mitra Taj, editing by G Crosse

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