Severe landslides across key transport routes have caused several metal mines in Peru to cancel or delay shipment of concentrates to their customers, sources told FastMarkets.
Peru, which is home to some of the world’s biggest mines for zinc, lead, copper and silver, has been hit by its heaviest rains in 20 years, according to its government – part of El Nino-related extreme weather patterns.
These have in turn led to widespread flooding and landslides in and around the Andes mountains, with the regions of Pasco, Lima, Junín most affected.
As well, key roads and railways used to transport metal ores and concentrates to the coast have been damaged or destroyed.
Mines located in these provinces include Volcan, Cerro de Pasco, El Brocal, Torromocho and Atacocha, Huaron, Casapalca, Yauliyacu and Austria Duvaz as well as smaller-scale operations.
“Transportation from all mines has severely been affected. This has prompted shipments to be either cancelled or postponed,” a source at a large mining company in Peru said on Friday.
For now, production at mines in the country has yet to be affected but, if transport issues continue, there is the potential for production to slow, sources said.
Prices for base metals are as yet unmoved but the zinc, lead and copper concentrate markets could come under pressure if supply is cut off for a significant period.
“There are some cancellations for this month and, seeing as we are already in a pretty tight [zinc concentrate] market, it could have a knock-on affect throughout the year,” a second source said.
(Editing by Mark Shaw)