China's MMG To Invest $2 Billion In Peru's Las Bambas Copper Mine
In the next five years, Chinese miner MMG planned to invest US $2 billion to expand its Las Bambas copper mine in Peru. Peru is the global second largest copper producer, and Las Bambas is one of the world's largest producers of the red metal. The company is focusing on potential acquisitions to push up production and plans to double up Las Bambas's copper production by 2025 and double it up again by 2030.
The mine's output in these years decreased due to falling ore grades and social conflicts. Las Bambas opened in 2016 in the Peruvian Andes and has suffered from recurrent disruptions for social issues. The disruptions even forced the company to suspend all operations for over 50 days. "The cost of the conflict since 2016 to date is of about 528 days of interrupted operations, almost a year and a half that we have gone through this situation", Orderique said.
Most of the disruptions affected copper trucking, rather than copper mining. Las Bambas is currently trying to build a second pit but work has been halted due to opposition from the indigenous Huancuire community, which used to own the land where the project is slated to be built. Orderique said, he hoped that the pit can be built in the `following months' to compensate for falling ore grades at its current pit. MMG has previously said it will not go on with the project until it can reach a peaceful agreement with the indigenous Huancuire community.