Home » Peru’s Copper Boom: How Buenaventura and Antofagasta Joined Forces

Peru’s Copper Boom: How Buenaventura and Antofagasta Joined Forces

Peruvian company and Chilean giant team up to tap into this lucrative market

by Victor Adetimilehin

Peru is one of the world’s top producers of copper, a metal that is in high demand for the green energy transition. 


In December 2023, Antofagasta, a London-listed mining company controlled by Chile’s richest family, announced that it had acquired a 19% stake in Compañía de Minas Buenaventura, Peru’s largest precious and base metals company. Buenaventura’s copper assets and potential collaborations in the region were the main objectives of the deal, which was worth about $1.2 billion.


Why Copper Matters

Copper is a key component of many technologies that are essential for the global shift to renewable energy sources and electrification. From wind turbines and solar panels to electric vehicles and batteries, copper is used for its high conductivity, durability and efficiency.


According to the International Energy Agency, the demand for copper could increase by up to 50% by 2040, driven by the growth of low-carbon technologies. This means that the world will need more copper than ever before, and that the supply will have to keep up with the demand.


Peru’s second-largest copper reserves in the world, after Chile, position it well to meet this challenge. The country produced about 2.5 million tonnes of copper in 2023, accounting for 12% of the global output. Peru also has a rich history of mining, dating back to the pre-Columbian civilizations.


The Benefits of Partnership

Buenaventura is one of the most established and respected mining companies in Peru, with a portfolio of 10 mines and several projects in development. Based on a report by Mining.com, the company is known for its social and environmental responsibility, as well as its innovation and diversification.


One of Buenaventura’s most valuable assets is its 20% stake in Cerro Verde, a giant copper mine operated by Freeport-McMoRan, the world’s largest publicly traded copper producer. Cerro Verde is one of the most efficient and profitable mines in the world, with a capacity of 500,000 tonnes of copper per year.


Antofagasta, on the other hand, is one of the leading copper producers in Chile, with four operating mines and a strong track record of growth and performance. The company has also been looking for opportunities to expand its presence outside of Chile, after facing some challenges with its previous ventures in Pakistan and the US.


By investing in Buenaventura, Antofagasta not only gains access to a share of Cerro Verde’s output, but also to a potential partner for developing other projects in Peru and the region. The two companies have expressed their interest in working together on strategic, operational and financial matters, as well as on exploring the possibility of Antofagasta joining Buenaventura’s board of directors.


A Win-Win Situation

Both parties, as well as the Peruvian mining sector and the copper market, benefit from the partnership between Buenaventura and Antofagasta. The deal brings together two companies with complementary strengths, expertise and vision, and creates synergies and opportunities for cooperation and value creation.


The two companies share a common vision of mining as a force for good, and a commitment to social and environmental responsibility. By joining forces, they can contribute to the development and well-being of the communities where they operate, and to the global efforts to combat climate change and promote green energy.


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