It marks the first major move in mining by the newly-elected government of former schoolteacher and union leader Pedro Castillo, who was elected in June. It will also no doubt have put other companies active in the country’s mining sector on high alert.
Peru is the world’s second largest copper producer - as well as its third largest producer of zinc - and it is home to some of the industry’s biggest mines.
International companies active there include major corporations Anglo American, Chinalco, Glencore, Freeport-McMoRan and MMG.
Industry participants say the Hochschild situation has once again raised their concerns over the potential for the government to nationalize assets, renegotiate contracts or slap unsubstantiated fines on corporates with the threat of permanent closure if they are not paid.
The details of the Hochschild situation are still emerging.
There are four mines at the center of the...