Breaking News
Get 40% Off 0
👀 Reveal Warren Buffett's stock picks that are beating the S&P 500 by +174.3% Get 40% Off

Exclusive-Peru mines power on despite protests, though shutdown risk looms

Published Feb 08, 2023 05:16AM ET Updated Feb 08, 2023 09:47AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A view shows a makeshift dwelling near an area where hundreds of artisan miners have found a rich seam of copper, in the hills of Tapairihua in Peru's Andes, October 18, 2022. REUTERS/Marco Aquino
 
FCX
+0.99%
Add to/Remove from Watchlist
Add to Watchlist
Add Position

Position added successfully to:

Please name your holdings portfolio
 
Copper
-0.09%
Add to/Remove from Watchlist
Add to Watchlist
Add Position

Position added successfully to:

Please name your holdings portfolio
 
GLNCY
+1.01%
Add to/Remove from Watchlist
Add to Watchlist
Add Position

Position added successfully to:

Please name your holdings portfolio
 

By Alexander Villegas and Adam Jourdan

ESPINAR, Peru (Reuters) - Peru's biggest copper mines have been able to maintain production despite road blockades, attacks and protests that have roiled the Andean nation for over two months and led to warnings of production halts, an analysis showed on Wednesday.

The analysis of power usage data by Reuters at some of the key mines in Peru, the world's no. 2 copper producer, indicates that activity at the deposits remains near normal levels, although a source close to one major mine said the risk of stoppages was rising.

The South American nation has been gripped by anti-government protests since the Dec. 7 ouster of leftist President Pedro Castillo. Highways have been blockaded throughout the copper-rich south, threatening production and transport of the metal, hitting some company shares, and boosting already high prices.

But the data suggests mining activity has been resilient, at least for now.

This includes massive deposit Las Bambas, owned by China's MMG Ltd, which previously said it would have to halt production from Feb. 1, and Glencore (OTC:GLNCY)'s Antapaccay, which stopped production in mid-January but has since resumed.

The power data from COES, which represents firms in Peru's energy sector, shows that nearly all major mines are drawing normal or near-normal levels of electricity. The data has traditionally been a reliable indicator of mining activity.

GRAPHIC: Peru Mines: Power use  (https://www.reuters.com/graphics/PERU-MINING/zjpqjwqokvx/chart.png)

A source close to Las Bambas said the mine, which previously said it faced a production halt from Feb. 1 due to key provisions not reaching the mine, said it had been able to keep operating at a minimum level after getting "last minute supplies."

The mine, which normally supplies some 2% of global copper, has been hit by regular blockades for years, usually causing its power use to fall sharply during the periods of disruption. This has not yet happened this time around, despite the protests.

The person added, however, that the mine risked fully running out of supplies by Wednesday, which would force it to move into a "care and maintenance" mode with its machinery that would use half the normal level of power.

GRAPHIC: Las Bambas: Power and protest 9https://www.reuters.com/graphics/PERU-MINING/gdvzynngzpw/chart.png)

The data shows some mines experienced temporary dips in power use in recent months, including Peru's largest mine Antamina, co-owned by Glencore and BHP, and Glencore's Antapaccay around the middle of January.

Antapaccay reopened on Jan. 31 after a temporary halt and has been operating again at full capacity.

Hudbay Mineral Inc's Constancia mine has seen power use start to decline recently. Others, like Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE:FCX)'s Cerro Verde are at normal or elevated levels. A combined index of six key mines is near normal.

Freeport-McMoRan spokesperson Linda Hayes said: "We are continuing to operate, but have limited our mill throughput by about 10% to deal with intermittent supply disruptions."

The other firms did not immediately respond to requests for comment about activity at their mines in Peru.

The mining activity is key to keeping global copper supply flowing. Brokerage Jefferies said in a Jan. 31 note that some 30% of Peruvian copper supply was at risk from the unrest, a "potential positive for the copper price."

The protests - which have led to the deaths of 48 people and are the worst violence Peru has seen in over 20 years - could of course soon start to have a greater effect on mining operations. Demonstrators are becoming more determined as lawmakers struggle to agree on calling snap elections, a key protest demand.

This week, Peru's Buenaventura suspended operations at a key silver mine after protesters invaded the site.

At a blockade on the "mining corridor" highway, protester Wilber Toco Aragua Salcedo told Reuters that people felt like the mines took all the wealth and left little for locals.

"The south is quite rich, but the mining concessions that we have harm the people," he said, adding he had heard mines were stocking up on supplies. "The people do not get tired, the people won't go away, we will not take a step back."

GRAPHIC: Peru: mines and power  9https://www.reuters.com/graphics/PERU-MINING/byvrlkoxave/chart.png)

Exclusive-Peru mines power on despite protests, though shutdown risk looms
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.
  • Any comment you publish, together with your investing.com profile, will be public on investing.com and may be indexed and available through third party search engines, such as Google.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (1)
Hunt Richardson
Hunt Richardson Feb 08, 2023 6:48AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Chinese cos owning Peruvian mines. whodathunkit?
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email