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Minsur Peru tin mine protests end

Bnamericas Published: Saturday, April 09, 2016

Peru's Minsur said protesters lifted a roadblock at its San Rafael tin mine in the southern Andes days before the country heads to elections.

Members of the Antauta community in Puno region have been protesting in the area since March 31 to demand a 10% share of profits, reparations from the mine's operations and other benefits ahead of the April 10 general elections. The government has been seeking to hold talks with local government officials.

Minsur, Peru's only tin miner, had said earlier this week the protests could curtail production at the mine, which is expected to see declining output this year.

"Minsur announces that the blockade has been lifted by this time," the Lima-based company said in a one-line statement. Spokesman Gonzalo Quijandría did not return a telephone call seeking comment.

Minsur posted a US$536mn loss last year because of an impairment charge and falling metals prices and tin output.

The firm, which posted a US$85mn profit in 2014, registered a US$640mn impairment charge for the Mina Justacopper deposit in Peru.

Minsur's total tin production in 2015 fell 12% to 25,749t, while gold rose 14% to 120,924oz and niobium-tantalum output fell 20% to 2,170t.

The company set 2016 production guidance at San Rafael at 20,000-21,000t tin, while the Pitinga mine, in Brazil, should produce 6,000-7,000t tin and 2,000-2,200t of niobium-tantalum. The Pucamarca mine in Peru is expected to produce 95,000-105,000oz gold.

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