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China's MMG races for deal to protect copper flow from Peru mine

Protests weigh on Las Bambas, top source of the metal under Beijing control

China, the world's top importer of copper, depends on Peruvian mines like Las Bambas.   © Reuters

LIMA, Peru -- With copper prices at an all-time high, Chinese state-owned producer MMG is under the gun to work out a deal by the end of the month to keep supplies flowing from Las Bambas, a Peruvian mine which happens to be the biggest source of the crucial metal under Beijing's control anywhere in the world.

The mine, sited in the Andes Mountains geographically some 70 km southwest of the historic Incan capital of Cusco, generates 2% of world copper production -- when it is running.

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