Las Bambas copper mine, one of the largest producers in Peru, said on Monday, February 13 it was operating normally and was transporting its minerals safely to the port after reopening an access road to the mine thanks to an agreement being reached with the Peruvian government. 

The road was blocked last week by hundreds of people in the town of Challhuahuacho in the Andean region of Apurimac. They demanded that investment commitments made by the government, such as drainage works and the construction of a hospital, be met.

Las Bambas uses that road as an alternative route. Since October, four communities in Apurimac have blocked the main access road because of how they are being affected by the dust and noise generated by haul trucks.

“The marginal road has already been reopened and we are usually taking the ore out there,” said a spokesman from Las Bambas, who asked not to be identified. “This has not affected the production at all and the mine is operating normally.”

The alternative road was reopened after the government declared that area to be in a state of emergency, restricting civil liberties and following an agreement with authorities on the start of construction of the promised works, according to a representative in the Ombudsman’s Office in Apurimac Artemio Solano.