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Glencore copper mine in Peru suspends operations after another attack

Monday, January 23rd, 2023

Glencore’s Antapaccay copper mine in Peru suspended operations on Friday after protesters attacked the premises for the third time this month, the global commodity giant said, as social unrest in the South American nation continued.

Protesters set fire to the workers’ area of the camp and began looting around noon local time, demanding the mine cease its operations and join the demonstrators’ call for President Dina Boluarte’s resignation, Glencore said in a statement.

Though the situation “was under control” by mid-afternoon, the company announced the “temporary stoppage of its operations” due to the “unacceptable risk” faced by its workers. The mine, located in southern Peru and among the country’s largest, was also attacked twice last week.

Peru, the world’s second-largest copper producer, has been gripped by growing unrest following weeks of sometimes violent anti-government protests triggered by the ouster of the country’s former President last month.

Mines and other parts of Peru’s extractive industry have faced disruptions due to road blockades set up by protesters.

The Antapaccay mine was operating at a “restricted” capacity due to the protests, the company said earlier this week. The mine has been unable to transport supplies to its facility due to the blockades since January 4, with only 38% of its workforce in place.

Glencore added that the transport of mineral concentrates remains temporarily suspended.

Company installations and four vehicles suffered heavy damage during last week’s protests. In one attack, a building was set on fire while at least one worker was inside. 

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