The closure follows the Peruvian government’s Emergency Decree issued to contain the spread of the coronavirus outbreak
Peruvian base metals miner Compania Minera Antamina plans to temporarily suspend operations at its Antamina copper and zinc mine amid Covid-19 outbreak.
The mine is located in the Andes Mountains of Peru, approximately 285km north of Lima in the Department of Ancash.
The move follows the Peruvian government’s Emergency Decree issued to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
BHP, in a press statement, said: “The Government has now allowed Antamina to demobilize the majority of the 2,400 people on site over the coming days and Antamina has suspended operations to do so.
“The site will go into care and maintenance, with a skeleton staff performing essential tasks, including disinfecting the site, to enable the operation to restart when it is deemed appropriate. The current expectation is this could take up to two weeks, however this may change.”
The state of emergency in the country had previously been extended until 26 April.
BHP to implement strict controls during demobilisation
The firm said that strict controls are planned to be adapted during the demobilisation to safeguard the health of the local communities and workers.
BHP and Glencore each own a 33.75% stake in Compania Minera Antamina, while others partners include Teck Resources with 22.5% stake and Mitsubishi Corporation owns the remaining 10% interest.
The Antamina mine is an open pit, truck/shovel operation.
The copper and zinc concentrates produced at the mine will be transported through a 302km slurry concentrate pipeline to the port for shipment to smelters and refineries.
Teck Resources stated: “The site will be cleaned and disinfected during this period in preparation for a safe restart with fresh crews which is expected within the next two weeks.”