Protesters in Peru target Hochschild’s largest mine

LIMA, Oct 31 (Reuters) – Peruvian demonstrators on Monday burned infrastructure at Hochschild Mining Plc’s Inmaculada mine as part of a protest, the company said, threatening the operations of its largest mine in the Andean nation.

UK-listed Hochschild is an important precious metals miner and Inmaculada produces both gold and silver.

The company did not say if production had been affected, but said protesters had blocked the entrance to the mine since Oct. 27.

Reuters could not reach the protesters for comment. Hochschild identified them as members of the Casma Palla Palla community in the southern region of Ayacucho.

Protests from impoverished indigenous communities against large mines are common in Peru, which is the world’s No. 2 copper producer. They have also targeted Inmaculada in the recent past.

Last year, Peru’s left-wing government led by President Pedro Castillo briefly said, before backtracking, that it would wind down production at Inmaculada following pressure from local communities.

The decision at the time sent Hochschild’s shares tumbling as much as 50% on the news.

Hochschild has a plan to invest $4.4 billion in Inmaculada which could extend the mine’s life through 2042. (Reporting by Marco Aquino and Marcelo Rochabrun in Lima Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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