Peruvian miners resume works and seek to bridge gap with Chileans

To date, thanks to the operational continuity of the local industry, the differences have been stretched. However, there is concern about the infections and consequences are expected for the rest of the year.

Earlier this week, the Peruvian mining industry resumed its operations, returning to normal, almost two months after the work caused by the pandemic was partially suspended.

Unlike what happened in Chile, that country experienced the closure of several medium and large-scale operations, strongly impacting the figures of the industry. As reported by the Peruvian Ministry of Energy and Mines, copper production in April reached 125,225 fine metric tons, representing a decrease of 33.4% versus the same month of 2019.

According to the entity, the fall occurs “because the mining companies continued to carry out only critical activities as established by the state of emergency” implemented by the pandemic. In this line, in the fourth month of the year, production reflected a drop of 17.4%, compared to the same period last year.

Local situation

At the local level, the panorama has been diametrically opposite, and even production has grown in the first four-month period, due to the operational continuity of large tasks.

However, from Plusmining they warn that the impact could be seen later, and they estimate that, only due to the effect of the pandemic, the contraction would be 5.5%, “The industry has been in reduced supply for more than two months. Mining companies are focused on maintaining production and focused exclusively on extraction, but all other tasks, such as preparing new areas, have been affected, “adds Guajardo, who recalls that the industry also goes through a complex time due to the drought that affects the central zone.

These projections also do not consider the most feared scenario for the industry, which has to do with an outbreak occurring at some site and work having to be stopped. The alarms went off after the death of a worker from Codelco’s Chuquicamata division, which led the unions to threaten a stoppage in the event that security measures are not exceeded. Yesterday, one of the organizations in that division asked the company to start operating with only minimal services, given the complex situation that the city of Calama is going through.

The different federations of public and private mining workers met this week telematically to address the situation and agreed on an action plan that contemplates officiating at different government agencies to convey the concerns of a sector that, according to figures from the Ministry of Mining, at the end of May it had 528 infected workers.

Source: El Mercurio

Translated with Google Translator