Chinese miners to pour $7.4bn into Peru

Lima daily Gestion reports Chinese mining companies Minmetals, Chinalco, Shougang and Zijing Mining Group are planning to invest $7.4 billion in Peru over the next five years, making up a substantial part of overall mining investment projects expected through 2017.

Shougang already works an iron mine in Marcona and recently announced an investment of $1.2 billion over the next five years to expand operations.

Zijing Mining Group, which is advancing the Rio Blanco copper project in Piura, will spend $1.5 billion for the same period, while Minmetals will invest around $2.5 billion in the gold and copper project El Galeno, located in the Cajamarca region.

Aluminum Corporation of China (Chinalco) has also announced an investment of $2.2 billion in the Toromocho copper project in the region of Junin.

China's positive  stance is in contrast to other foreign investors – Peru’s mining, oil and energy society (SNMPE) said in early September that, as a result of almost a year of non-stop anti-mining protests in different regions of the country, mining investment in the South American nation is expected to fall 33% next year.

The delays to Newmont Mining's (NYSE:NEM) controversial $4.8 billion copper-gold Conga project in the Cajamarca region is only one of the factors investors are taking into account when rethinking their portfolios. Mostly they worry over the large number of mining projects dealing with social conflicts, such as Swiss based-Xstrata’s Tintaya copper mine, near Cuzco, in Southeastern Peru.

Behind Chile, Peru is the world's second biggest producer of copper and silver and a major producer of gold, zinc, lead and other minerals.