Home » Peru’s Copper Boom Faces Uncertainty as New Mines Delayed

Peru’s Copper Boom Faces Uncertainty as New Mines Delayed

The country’s copper production increased by 20% in the first seven months of 2023

by Motoni Olodun
Peru’s copper sector

According to the head of the country’s mining association, Peru, the world’s second-largest copper producer, may see its output growth slow down in the coming years due to a lack of new projects. The country’s copper production increased by 20% in the first seven months of 2023, compared to the same period in 2022, as mines recovered from the pandemic-related disruptions and a new project by Anglo American started operations.

However, the future of Peru’s copper sector is uncertain, as social conflicts, environmental issues, and political instability have stalled several large-scale projects. The country has had six presidents in the last five years, and Pedro Castillo’s current government has proposed to revise the mining tax regime and increase state participation in the industry.

Some projects that have faced delays or cancellations include Quellaveco, Mina Justa, Tia Maria, Michiquillay, and Los Chancas. These projects have a combined potential to produce more than two million tonnes of copper annually, significantly boosting Peru’s output and revenues.

The mining association has urged the government to provide a clear and stable legal framework for the industry and to foster dialogue with local communities and other stakeholders. The association also highlighted the importance of mining for Peru’s economy, accounting for 60% of its exports and 10% of its gross domestic product (GDP).

The government supports responsible and sustainable mining and will work with the private sector to promote investment and development. The government has also said it will respect the existing contracts and licenses and seek a fair distribution of the mining wealth among all Peruvians.

Peru’s copper sector faces challenges and opportunities globally, as the demand for the metal is expected to increase due to its role in clean energy and electric vehicles. Peru has an estimated 83 million tonnes of copper reserves, representing 13% of the world’s total. The country also has a rich mining history and culture and a skilled and experienced workforce.

The mining association hopes Peru can overcome its difficulties and remain a leading copper producer and exporter. The association also hopes Peru can benefit from copper’s social and environmental advantages, such as its recyclability, durability, and efficiency.

Source: Mining Weekly

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