March 26, 2020 / 11:48 PM / 2 days ago

Freeport-McMoRan in talks to allow limited operations at Peru's Cerro Verde mine

March 26 (Reuters) - Freeport-McMoRan Inc said reut.rs/3dtqBR0 on Thursday it was in talks with the Peruvian government to conduct limited operations at its giant Cerro Verde mine after the country extended a national emergency due to the coronavirus outbreak to April 12.

The mine was temporarily transitioned to a care and maintenance status on March 16 after the Peruvian government declared a 15-day emergency to battle the virus.

President Martin Vizcarra on Thursday extended the country’s state of emergency until April 12 as confirmed cases of coronavirus rose to 580.

Miners in the country have been forced to slow or suspend operations with the government strictly curbing movement and activity with military presence on the streets to halt the virus.

Freeport-McMoRan Inc, the world’s largest publicly traded copper producer, said on Monday it will stop dividend payouts and slash costs and output due to the rapid worldwide spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

The company owns 53.56% of Cerro Verde.

Reporting by Aishwarya Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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