Peru’s minerals railway to take 2-3 weeks to resume: government – by Mitra Taj (Reuters U.S. – March 22, 2017)

LIMA – A railway used by copper, zinc and silver mines to transport concentrates from Peru’s central Andes to port is likely be out of action for at least two to three weeks following deadly floods and mudslides, a minister said on Wednesday.

Repairs should take about two weeks, but work in the field was unlikely to start until next week once dangerous river levels had eased, transportation minister Martin Vizcarra told Reuters.

The railway has been closed since Friday, when torrential downpours triggered flooding and mudslides that killed at least 75 people and ruptured the rail line in several places. “The damage wasn’t mild, it was seriously damaged,” Vizcarra said by phone. “It’ll take at least two to three weeks.”

Even after the railway resumes operations, exports from the port of Callao near Lima could be delayed by two to three weeks if ships wait for more concentrates to arrive in order to send full loads, said Deputy Mines Minister Ricardo Labo.

“It’s going to depend on where stock levels are in Callao,” Labo said. The situation could put pressure global mineral prices.

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