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Peru loses S/124 million due to stoppage of tin mine

Peru loses S/124 million due to stoppage of tin mine

Collateral damage. Since January 11, Minsur suspended operations at the San Rafael mine due to blockades and threats. According to company calculations, they stopped selling concentrate for S/472 million; of that figure, the country corresponded to S/124 million.

45 days ago, the San Rafael mining unit did not produce a single gram of tin concentrate. The company Minsurwhich operates this deposit in the Puno province of Melgar, suspended operations last January 11, in mourning for the deaths that occurred in Juliaca.

Since then, the mine has only carried out environmental care and maintenance activities within the operation. The prolongation of the social protests to demand the resignation of President Boluarte prevents her from working. His spokespersons explained that the damages are millionaires for the Peruvian capital company (Breca group) and the State. To date, a loss of 472 million soles is estimated for sales of mineral concentrate that could not be placed in the international market.

Of that figure, it is estimated that the Peruvian State stopped receiving S/124 million of Income Tax (IR), royalties and Special Tax on Mining. For the regional government and municipalities of Puno, the impact will be felt next year, when the taxes corresponding to the 2023 financial year are paid, especially the IR.

Almost 77% of the annual contributions received by the highland region come from mining. Last year, between the regional government and municipalities, they disposed of more than one billion for canons, surcharges, royalties, customs revenue and participations, reveals the Economic Transparency portal of the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF).

Negative effects

Local providers have also felt the blow. Some 250 small local businesses in Antauta and Ajoyani depend directly on the sales they make to the mining unit.

The president of the National Society of Mining, Petroleum and Energy, Víctor Góbitz, in an interview with a national media outlet, expressed his concern about this case. It would be the only mining operation in the country that does not reestablish activities.

The leader of this business union affirmed that Las Bambas, Antapaccay and Hudbay, located in the southern mining corridor, operate in a restricted manner. The Ministry of the Interior registers partial blockades, but without protester pickets.

Similarly, Julcani, in Huancavelica, begins to operate. The same is not the case with San Rafael, said Góbitz.

The tin producer is located in the district of Antauta, province of Melgar. A source close to Minsur acknowledged that there are no social conditions to restart extractive activities. The roads are blocked and they receive threats from various groups of protesters who intend to attack heavy-duty vehicles.

Furthermore, on February 20, the company officials appeared in a hearing before the community leaders who abide by the strike. These demanded that they should suspend operations at 100%. Minsur clarified that productive activities were stopped. They only performed critical tasks, such as environmental maintenance and mine sustainment.

On that occasion, the leaders complained about the circulation of some trucks. Minsur clarified that they were withdrawing the mineral concentrate produced last year. The slogan of the communities is that activities resume when President Dina Boluarte resigns.

4,500 jobs at risk

San Rafael employs about 4,500 direct and indirect workers. For maintenance tasks, 430 workers are taken into account. The rest have had to return to their homes. Almost 75% of the labor force comes from the altiplano region.

“We make efforts to preserve their employment conditions and find formulas to avoid harming their income. Early vacations were given,” said the source, although there are fears that a perfect suspension will be applied, if the blockades persist.

Minsur has explained its situation to the Ministry of Energy and Mines since the first day of the protests, but no action has been taken in this regard.

San Rafael has a strategic position. It represents 9% of the world production of tin concentrate. It is the largest mining company in the western hemisphere of the planet.

According to the International Tin Association (TIN), in 2021, Peru was positioned as the second tin producer in the world, with Minsur at the helm. That ranking was led by the Chinese Yunnan Tin Company.

According to the leader of Antauta, Edmundo Alarcón, it is the neighboring districts that prevent the operation of the mining site.

Source: Larepublica

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