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Copper Mines Are Shutting in Peru With Social Conflicts Mounting

  • Las Bambas joins Cuajone in succumbing to community protests
  • Unions in Cusco region stage strikes against rising prices
Demonstrators hold signs while protesting the Tia Maria mining project in Arequipa, Peru in 2019.

Demonstrators hold signs while protesting the Tia Maria mining project in Arequipa, Peru in 2019.

Photographer: Miguel Yovera/Bloomberg

Sky-high metal prices and accelerating general inflation are fueling another up-tick in resource nationalism and social unrest in Peru, among the top suppliers of copper, zinc and silver. 

As of Wednesday, about a fifth of the country’s copper output will be off-line as MMG Ltd’s Las Bambas mine joins Southern Copper Corp.’s Cuajone in succumbing to community protests. At the same time, unions in the mineral-rich Cusco region are staging strikes against rising prices, while residents near a Glencore Plc copper mine are preparing to resume protests.