February 13, 2017 / 6:22 PM / a year ago

Road to Las Bambas copper mine clear after Peru protest ends

LIMA, Feb 13 (Reuters) - MMG Ltd has been transporting copper concentrates from its Las Bambas mine in Peru since late on Friday, when residents of a nearby town called off protests that had blocked the road used by the company, a representative of the ombudsman’s office said.

The five-day protest in Challhuahuacho ended after the government suspended civil liberties with an emergency decree and set dates to start building a sewage system and hospital that had been promised to the town, said Artemio Solano of the ombudsman’s office in the region of Apurimac.

Protests near Las Bambas last year had blocked roads used by the mine and suspended its copper shipments from the port of Matarani.

The flare-up last week threatened to further constrain global supplies of copper as Chile’s Escondida, the world’s biggest copper mine, halted output amid a strike and Indonesia’s Grasberg, the second biggest, dealt with an export ban.

There are often conflicts over mining in Peru, the world’s second biggest copper producer, especially in far-flung regions where basic services such as running water and paved roads are scant.

Four protesters from towns near Las Bambas have been killed in clashes with police over the past two years.

Las Bambas produced some 300,000 tonnes of copper in the first 11 months of 2016, according to the energy and mines ministry.

Reporting By Mitra Taj and Teresa Cespedes; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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