Peru PM sparks controversy with mining sector by ruling out timeline extensions


LIMA (Reuters) – Peruvian Prime Minister Mirtha Vasquez sparked an issue with the important thing mining sector on Friday evening, saying a gaggle of 4 mines within the Andean Ayacucho area wouldn’t be allowed any extensions on their operational timelines.

“That is an arbitrary measure that ignores the rule of legislation and its rules,” stated Oscar Caipo, the president of Confiep, which teams Peru’s largest companies.

Vasquez had stated the federal government would assist dealer phrases for the shutdown of 4 mines which have been affected by group protests in current weeks.

“We are going to shut the mines as quickly as doable,” Vasquez stated, in keeping with a authorities information launch. “There can be no extensions, whether or not for exploitation, exploration and even shutdown,”

Two of them are owned by Hochschild Mining; the opposite two are smaller operations.

The remarks triggered a livid response from the mining business on Saturday, with executives saying that whereas the mines had been formally scheduled to close down quickly, they had been hoping to increase these timelines.

“We do not have plans to cease working. In truth, we anticipate to proceed investing,” stated Ignacio Bustamante, who heads Compania Minera Ares, a Hochschild subsidiary.

Below Peruvian legislation, all mines have an anticipated closure date, though these dates may be modified if regulators permit it.

The spat is the newest controversy between the leftist administration led by President Pedro Castillo and the mining sector. Peru is the world’s No. 2 copper producer and mining tax income is a major a part of the nation’s funds.

Castillo got here to energy in July, at a time when group protests have focused a number of giant mining operations, together with large copper mines like Antamina, co-owned by Glencore and BHP Billiton, in addition to MMG Ltd’s Las Bambas.

The mining sector has criticized Castillo for what they see as an administration that’s too permissive with protesters.

“We’re legitimizing violence as a justified measure of social stress, stated Raul Jacob, the president of Peru’s Society of Mining, Vitality and Oil.

Jacob can be the chief monetary officer at Southern Copper Corp.

(Reporting by Marcelo Rochabrun; modifying by Jonathan Oatis)

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