Mining projects worth $56 billion to come on stream in Peru beginning 2016

Mining projects worth $56 billion to come on stream in Peru

MMG’s gigantic Las Bambas mine is the largest China-backed mining projects scheduled to come on stream in Peru next year.

Mining projects worth more than $56 billion are expected to come on stream in Peru beginning next year, led mostly by Chinese, American and Canadian companies.

According to the official Andina news agency (in Spanish), there are 47 ventures in the last stages of development in the country, with 24 of them dedicated to exploration and six others involving expansions of existing operating units.

Environmental impact studies have been completed for 14 projects, the report said citing Energy and Mines Ministry figures, while other three projects are still in the evaluation phase.

The main exploration projects are Galeno, La Granja, Michiquillay, Cañariaco, Haquira, Rio Blanco, Quechua, Los Chancas and Los Calatos, while expansion projects are planned at Cerro Verde, Toromocho, Marcona, Bayovar, Toquepala and El Porvenir.

Environmental impact studies have been approved and construction authorized for the Las Bambas, Quellaveco, Conga, Crespo, Shauindo and Shouxin projects, it added.

China No.1

China is currently the top investor in Peru's mining industry, pumping $19.2 billion into different copper projects, including Pampa de Pongo in Arequipa, Galeno in Cajamarca, Don Javier in Arequipa, and Rio Blanco in Piura.

Investors from the Asian nation are also carrying out the expansions of the Toromocho project in Junín (by Chinalco) and the Marcona project in Ica (by Shoungang Hierro Peru).

But the largest of all Chinese-backed projects is MMG’s Las Bambas copper, zinc, silver and gold mine, scheduled to begin production in the first quarter of 2016, despite weak metal prices and relentless protests against the project that have left at least four dead and dozens seriously injured in recent months.

U.S.-based companies are No. 2 on the list of investors in Peru's mining sector, with $10.13 billion, while Canadian firms are in third place, with $8.35 billion.

The South American country is the world’s No 3 copper producer and mining accounts for about 60% of its export earnings.