Mining News

Las Bambas workers launch protest action

Following a tense meeting with human resources personnel, the union that represents MMG’s Las Bambas workers announced the launching of a protest action as they demand a review of the end-of-year profit amounts paid by the mining company to its employees.

In a media statement, the union says that this is the first time that employees receive their share of the profits since the copper mine became fully operational in 2016. Las Bambas employs more than 6,000 people directly and indirectly.

“The company has been taking advantage of permissive benefits granted by the [Peruvian] State, thus hindering workers’ participation in the profits for almost six years,” the communiqué reads. “Our employer has made this payment for the first time, however, the amounts paid do not meet our expectations.”

In the document, the union also points out workers’ disappointment at the company’s lack of recognition of their efforts and of the fact that they waited a long time to receive the benefit. They also express concern about whether their share of the profits has been reduced due to issues beyond their control, such as stoppages in the fiscal year 2021 and isolation measures due to the covid-19 pandemic. 

“We hope that company better ponders this situation and gives us an immediate answer,” the statement reads. 

Over 400 days lost

Las Bambas is Peru’s fourth-largest copper mine and the world’s ninth-largest. It is located in the southern Apurimac region and has been at the centre of protests and road blockades since it started operations in 2016.

In addition to the workers’ protest, on March 25, 2022, the local Huancuire community threatened with a new blockade, following the government’s approval of the Las Bambas expansion project.

The Huancuire said they would take all necessary “legal and social” measures to prevent the development of a second open-pit copper mine called Chalcobamba.

Overall, operations at Las Bambas have been disrupted for over 400 days since 2016, according to company estimates. 

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