MMG's Las Bambas mine to restart copper output after Peru deal

People sit in the mountains in front of a mine operated by MMG Las Bambas, in a region where locals claim mining activity has negatively affected crop yields and killed livestock, outside of Cusco, Peru October 14, 2021. REUTERS/Angela Ponce/File Photo

LIMA, Dec 30 (Reuters) - MMG Ltd's (1208.HK) Las Bambas mine on Thursday said it would restart operations after reaching a deal with a Peruvian community that blocked a key transport road for a month, forcing it to halt copper output.

The mine said the process would take up to 6 days.

"Given this agreement, we are going to give all the necessary notices to resume operations. The entire cycle takes between five to six days", said Las Bambas Operations Manager Edgardo Orderique to a La Republica reporter.

"Everybody has committed to reach an agreement, and now we believe we have a sustainable deal, that will enable the company to restart operations".

Peru is the world's No. 2 copper producer. The agreement was reached at a meeting earlier on Thursday organized by the government in its most ambitious effort yet to try to unblock the road.

Prime Minister Mirtha Vasquez traveled to Chumbivilcas, the site of the disruption, and met with local residents and company executives.

Las Bambas, one of Peru's largest copper mines, suspended operations on Dec. 18 due to the blockade, which prevented the firm from transporting its copper production to a sea port.

The suspension has caused a major problem for the country's leftist administration, which needs the miner's tax revenue but has also pledged to prioritize demands from marginalized communities.

"The communities commit to continue the dialogue in a climate of peace and social tranquility, without the use of force," the meeting minutes said.

The minutes also acknowledged that the government has yet to address the main demand from Chumbivilcas. The community wants Las Bambas to hire local residents to drive copper trucks and also give them cash contributions.

Those issues will be reviewed again in mid January, the minutes said.

Representatives for Chumbivilcas did not respond to requests for comment.

Chumbivilcas residents reached a similar agreement not to block the road used by Las Bambas in October, but then blocked the road regardless in November when negotiations stalled.

Reporting by Marcelo Rochabrun; editing by Sandra Maler and Richard Pullin

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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