Antofagasta Reports Protest a Los Pelambres Affecting Copper Production

- March 9th, 2015

Antofagasta (LSE:ANTO) reported that a small group of protesters has managed to disrupt operations at its Los Pelambres mine. Though the company stated that impacts of the protests were limited, it estimated that copper production has been reduced by about 5,000 tonnes so far.

Antofagasta (LSE:ANTO) reported that a small group of protesters has managed to disrupt operations at its Los Pelambres mine. Though the company stated that impacts of the protests were limited, it estimated that copper production has been reduced by about 5,000 tonnes so far.

As quoted in the press release:

Although the protesters’ actions disrupted normal operations, the impact was limited as critical supplies were available on-site, employees and contractors could travel by air, and an alternative dam was used for tailings disposal. None of the Company’s employees or contractors suffered any injuries.

On 5 March the government intervened with the purpose of restoring normal road and mine access and arranged a meeting of all parties to negotiate a resolution to the current situation. However, normal access to the mine has not been fully restored and, on 7 March, negotiations stalled. Government authorities are now making efforts to resume talks as soon as possible.

The protests were triggered by a small group who do not necessarily represent the valley community and are seeking action by Pelambres and the local government to help alleviate the current drought conditions. Discussions regarding water availability have been proceeding for some time with the intention of establishing a lasting solution.

The current evaluation of the impact of the disruption to operations indicates that copper production has been reduced by an estimated 5,000 tonnes to date. Looking forwards, the impact will depend on when access is fully restored. In the meantime Pelambres is working on plans to mitigate this impact on production over the full year.

Click here to read the Antofagasta (LSE:ANTO) press release

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