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Article

22 Nov 2021

Author:
The Guardian

Peru: UK mining co. Hochschild warns that it will fight Govt. announcement of plans to stop mining expansion in Ayacucho and closure of two of the company’s mines

Hugh Honeyman on Flickr

“UK’s Hochschild fights Peru’s plans to close mines over environmental impact” – 22 November 2021

The London-listed mining company has promised to “vigorously defend” its plan to continue mining gold and silver from two mines – Pallancata and Inmaculada – which it claims operate under the “highest environmental standards”…Ignacio Bustamante, the Hochschild chief executive, said he was “surprised” by the “illegal nature” of the government’s planned action and would “vigorously defend its rights to operate these mines using all available legal avenues”…Shares in Hochschild plunged nearly 40% on Monday morning, wiping more than £300m off the value of the company, after the Peruvian prime minister, Mirtha Vásquez, told local media over the weekend that four mines in the southern Ayacucho region would be barred from further expansion, and would be closed “as soon as possible”…Hochschil said it had “not received any formal communication from the government regarding this matter”…The plan could have severe consequences for Lima-headquartered Hochschild, which sources more than two-thirds of its gold and silver from its Peruvian mines…The announcement is likely to raise hackles throughout the mining sector in Peru, the world’s second largest producer of copper, which includes UK miners Anglo American, Newmont, Glencore and Freeport-McMoRan. Peru’s mines are also operated by China’s MMG and Chinalco alongside local producers such as Buenaventura…Peru’s mining industry has been linked to a string of environmental issues in recent years including deforestation, pollution and the mistreatment of environmental activists.