CEO of Peru's largest copper miner seeks 'common ground' after protests

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The logo of commodities trader Glencore is pictured successful beforehand of the company's office successful Baar, Switzerland, July 18, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

AQUIA, Peru, Nov 5 (Reuters) - The caput of Antamina, Peru's largest copper producer, looked to defuse tensions with agrarian assemblage protesters connected Friday, addressing residents successful a section gathering aft a blockade forced the mining steadfast to suspend operations past week.

Victor Gobitz, caput of Antamina, part-owned by Glencore Plc (GLEN.L) and BHP Billiton (BHP.AX), told residents astatine a municipality hallway gathering successful Aquia attended by Reuters that the 2 sides could find communal ground, a crisp displacement from an earlier captious tone.

"With orderly dialog we volition find the look for a improvement program for the full municipality of Aquia," Gobitz said astatine the meeting, held successful the town's bull warring arena. "We person to pb by illustration that we tin find communal ground."

The code was a marked displacement for Gobitz, who initially dismissed the protesters arsenic convulsive and lone typical of a number of voices.

Protests against miners successful Peru, the world's No. 2 copper producer, person escalated successful caller weeks amid precocious expectations from agrarian communities emboldened by the socialist medication of center-left President Pedro Castillo.

Castillo, from a peasant farming background, came to powerfulness successful July with monolithic enactment from mining regions, promising to summation taxes connected miners to beforehand section development.

The assemblage successful Aquia, located immoderate 60 kilometers (37 miles) from Antamina, had blocked a cardinal roadworthy for the excavation successful precocious October, earlier agreeing to assistance the blockade aft authorities talks earlier this week. work much

Residents accidental the country receives small successful presumption of taxation contributions from the mine, though the institution has a copper pipeline and roadworthy moving done the town.

"We are not throwing a societal tantrum," said Adan Damian, the president of Aquia, successful remarks successful effect to Gobitz. "I person mixed feelings that aft protesting truthful overmuch we are yet being listened to."

Gobitz said Antamina would retreat transgression allegations against Aquia leaders and adjacent residents made successful the lead-up to the protests, and enactment to supply cellphone towers to the town. He shook hands with section leaders astatine the meeting.

Aquia residents are hoping to motion a ceremonial statement with Antamina aboriginal connected Friday. Gobitz's beingness indicates a affirmative solution is likely.

Reporting by Marcelo Rochabrun; Editing by Adam Jourdan, Marguerita Choy and Steve Orlofsky

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