Connect with us

World

Exclusive: Peru mines on power despite protests, though halt risk looms

Published

on

Exclusive: Peru mines on power despite protests, though halt risk looms

Peru’s biggest copper mines have been able to maintain production despite road blockades, attacks and protests that have roiled the Andean nation for over two months and led to warnings of production halts, an analysis showed on Wednesday.

The analysis of power usage data by Reuters at some of the key mines in Peru, the world’s no. 2 copper producer, indicates that activity at the deposits remains near normal levels, although a source close to one major mine said the risk of stoppages was rising.

The South American nation has been gripped by anti-government protests since the Dec. 7 ouster of leftist President Pedro Castillo. Highways have been blockaded throughout the copper-rich south, threatening production and transport of the metal, hitting some company shares, and boosting already high prices.

But the data suggests mining activity has been resilient, at least for now.

Advertisement

This includes massive deposit Las Bambas, owned by China’s MMG Ltd (1208.HK), which previously said it would have to halt production from Feb. 1, and Glencore’s (GLEN.L) Antapaccay, which stopped production in mid-January but has since resumed.

The power data from COES, which represents firms in Peru’s energy sector, shows that nearly all major mines are drawing normal or near-normal levels of electricity. The data has traditionally been a reliable indicator of mining activity.

A source close to Las Bambas said the mine, which previously said it faced a production halt from Feb. 1 due to key provisions not reaching the mine, said it had been able to keep operating at a minimum level after getting “last minute supplies.”

The mine, which normally supplies some 2% of global copper, has been hit by regular blockades for years, usually causing its power use to fall sharply during the periods of disruption. This has not yet happened this time around, despite the protests.

The person added, however, that the mine risked fully running out of supplies by Wednesday, which would force it to move into a “care and maintenance” mode with its machinery that would use half the normal level of power.

Advertisement

The data shows some mines experienced temporary dips in power use in recent months, including Peru’s largest mine Antamina, co-owned by Glencore and BHP (BHP.AX), and Glencore’s Antapaccay around the middle of January.

Antapaccay reopened on Jan. 31 after a temporary halt and has been operating again at full capacity.

Hudbay Mineral Inc’s (HBM.TO) Constancia mine has seen power use start to decline recently. Others, like Freeport-McMoRan’s (FCX.N) Cerro Verde are at normal or elevated levels. A combined index of six key mines is near normal.

Freeport-McMoRan spokesperson Linda Hayes said: “We are continuing to operate, but have limited our mill throughput by about 10% to deal with intermittent supply disruptions.”

The other firms did not immediately respond to requests for comment about activity at their mines in Peru.

Advertisement

The mining activity is key to keeping global copper supply flowing. Brokerage Jefferies said in a Jan. 31 note that some 30% of Peruvian copper supply was at risk from the unrest, a “potential positive for the copper price.”

The protests – which have led to the deaths of 48 people and are the worst violence Peru has seen in over 20 years – could of course soon start to have a greater effect on mining operations.

Demonstrators are becoming more determined as lawmakers struggle to agree on calling snap elections, a key protest demand.
This week, Peru’s Buenaventura (BUENAVC1.LM) suspended operations at a key silver mine after protesters invaded the site.

At a blockade on the “mining corridor” highway, protester Wilber Toco Aragua Salcedo told Reuters that people felt like the mines took all the wealth and left little for locals.

“The south is quite rich, but the mining concessions that we have harm the people,” he said, adding he had heard mines were stocking up on supplies. “The people do not get tired, the people won’t go away, we will not take a step back.”

Advertisement

World

White-led DA party joins ANC in South African unity government

White-led DA party joins ANC in South African unity government

Published

on

By

White-led DA party joins ANC in South African unity government

 The African National Congress and its largest rival, the white-led, pro-business Democratic Alliance, agreed on Friday to work together in South Africa’s new government of national unity, a step change after 30 years of ANC majority rule.

Once unthinkable, the deal between two sharply antagonistic parties is the most momentous political shift in South Africa since Nelson Mandela led the ANC to victory in the 1994 elections that marked the end of apartheid.

“Today, South Africa is a better country than it was yesterday. For the first time since 1994, we’ve embarked on a peaceful and democratic transfer of power to a new government that will be different from the previous one,” DA leader John Steenhuisen said in a televised address.

“From today, the DA will co-govern the Republic of South Africa in a spirit of unity and collaboration,” he said, adding that multi-party government was the “new normal”.

Advertisement

The ANC lost its majority for the first time in an election on May 29 and has spent two weeks locked in intensive behind-the-scenes talks with other parties, which came down to the wire on Friday morning as the new parliament was convening.

The DA’s entry into national government is a big moment for a country still processing the legacy of the racist colonial and apartheid regimes. The party has struggled to shake off its image as a defender of rich white people and convince a broad spectrum of South Africans that it reflects their aspirations.

Two smaller parties, the socially conservative Inkatha Freedom Party and the right-wing Patriotic Alliance, will also take part in the unity government, they said. 

Advertisement
Continue Reading

World

Hamas’ armed wing says Israeli airstrike killed two hostages in Rafah

Hamas’ armed wing says Israeli airstrike killed two hostages in Rafah

Published

on

By

Hamas' armed wing says Israeli airstrike killed two hostages in Rafah

Hamas’ armed wing al-Qassam Brigades said on Friday that two Israeli hostages held in Gaza were killed in an Israeli airstrike on Rafah a few days ago.

The group, in a video posted on its Telegram channel, did not release the names of those said to have been killed or provide any evidence.

The Israeli government “does not want your hostages to return, except in coffins,” the al-Qassam Brigades statement said.

Israel rescued four hostages held by Hamas in a hostage-freeing operation in central Gaza’s al-Nuseirat on June 8. The health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza said more than 250 Palestinians were killed in the raid.

Advertisement

The war in Gaza erupted when Hamas militants stormed southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing around 1,200 people and seizing more than 250 hostages, according to Israeli tallies. 

Continue Reading

World

US attack sub, Canada navy patrol ship arrive in Cuba on heels of Russian warships

US attack sub, Canada navy patrol ship arrive in Cuba on heels of Russian warships

Published

on

By

US attack sub, Canada navy patrol ship arrive in Cuba on heels of Russian warships

A Canadian navy patrol ship sailed into Havana early on Friday, just hours after the United States announced a fast-attack submarine had docked at its Guantanamo naval base on Cuba, both vessels on the heels of Russian warships that arrived on the island earlier this week.

The confluence of Russian, Canadian and U.S. vessels in Cuba – a Communist-ruled island nation just 160 km (100 miles) from Florida – served up a reminder of old Cold War tensions and of current fraught ties between Russia and Western nations over the Ukraine war.

However, both the U.S. and Cuba have said the Russian warships pose no threat to the region. Russia has also characterized the arrival of its warships in allied Cuba as routine.

The Admiral Gorshkov frigate and the nuclear-powered submarine Kazan, half submerged with its crew on deck, sailed into Havana harbor on Wednesday after conducting “high-precision missile weapons” training in the Atlantic Ocean.

Advertisement

Canada`s Margaret Brooke patrol vessel began maneuvers early on Friday to enter Havana harbor, part of what the Canadian Joint Operations Command called “a port visit…in recognition of the long-standing bilateral relationship between Canada and Cuba.”

A Canadian diplomat characterized the Margaret Brooke`s arrival as “routine and part of long-standing cooperation between our two countries”, adding it was “unrelated to the presence of the Russian ships.”

Russia and Cuba were close allies under the former Soviet Union and tensions with Washington over Communism in its “backyard” peaked with the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Moscow, which has maintained ties with Havana, has questioned the apparent nervousness of the West over the warships this week. 

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © GLOBAL TIMES PAKISTAN