LIMA, April 1 (Reuters) – The Peruvian government has offered to end emergency measures authorizing the use of force in a remote Andean region if indigenous protesters lift their blockades of roads to Chinese miner MMG Ltd’s Las Bambas copper mine, the prime minister said on Monday.
Prime Minister Salvador del Solar pitched the idea to Gregorio Rojas, the leader of indigenous community Fuerabamba, during negotiations on Sunday aimed at restoring road access to Las Bambas, one of Peru’s biggest copper mines, his office said in a statement.
“What we agreed was that first he would see if his community is in agreement. He can’t make decisions today without consulting members of his community,” Solar was quoted saying.
Rojas could not immediately be reached on Monday. His attorney said he was traveling to southern Peru, where Fuerabamba villagers have blocked two roads that Las Bambas needs to transport copper and receive supplies, halting exports from the mine and nearly forcing it to suspend production.
Las Bambas produces about 400,000 tonnes of copper per year, equivalent to about 2 percent of global output and 1 percent of Peru’s gross domestic product.