Shougang Hierro has suspended its operations in Peru after the country’s government extended its emergency state through April 12. The country had initially declared a state of emergency from March 16-31.
Shougang had announced in a March 16 bulletin that employees listed under critical functions could attend their normal work schedule and included most of its personnel in this category.
However, in a March 17, directive the Peruvian government officially classified mining as a critical sector but allowed mines to operate only with essential personnel at the same or reduced capacity during the lockdown. The government’s list of essential mining workforce included transport personnel but companies were required to update the government with their preparations and response plans.
Mining companies were also required to establish monitoring and security measures within employee living quarters in accordance with the isolation requirements imposed by the Peruvian government.
Shougang’s earlier bulletin was therefore viewed by some government agencies and public as an attempt at preempting or circumventing Peru’s emergency procedures. However the miner said it is now taking a more cautious approach and has halted mining activities in accordance with the nationwide extended lockdown.
Siderperu, a Peruvian steelmaker, has also stopped operations in accordance with the emergency measures. However, Peru’s Pisco port continues operating with preventive measures and is managing imported iron ore, agricultural goods, fertilizer, and ferrous scrap. Aceros Arequipa one of Peru’s largest scrap importers is also operating at reduced capacity.
On March 30, 2020, President Vizcarra of Peru announced new extended measures for the duration of the country’s state of emergency from March 31 through April 12. The orders include mandatory curfew of 6pm, until 5am. Supermarkets, pharmacies and other essential businesses will be open until 1pm Monday to Saturday.