Lots of action the past few days in the global copper mining sector. With a couple of the world’s biggest mines again erupting into violence.
That included the Grasberg mega-mine in Indonesia. Where police used tear gas Saturday to disperse former workers who had barricaded roads leading to key facilities.
That came after owner Freeport-McMoRan laid off 3,000 Grasberg workers earlier this year — who had allegedly been skipping out on work, which they say was a protest of cuts at the mine.
Freeport said supply routes to the mine would start operating again today. But access still appears to be limited — with equipment reportedly having been burned in the most recent protests, suggesting that full operations may be some time to restore.
And halfway around the world, the same story has been playing out in Peru. Where local residents blockaded roads to the massive Las Bambas copper mine, operated by China’s MMG.
The blockades prompted Peru’s government to declare a state of emergency in the area last week. And it wasn’t until Thursday that roads were finally cleared.
Such protests have been on-again, off-again at Las Bambas the last several months. Showing that major social issues are still very much a concern for operations here.