Mining companies in Peru invested US$7.2 billion in 2011, 77% more than in 2010, Mines and Energy Ministry (MEM) reports.
According to data provided by the MEM, mining companies invested US$1.39 billion on infrastructure, US$1.12 billion on processing plant equipment and US$853 million on production.
According to Peru’s government agency, miners spent most in the category “others” (US$1.4 million), followed by exploration (US$849 million), preparation activities (US$787) and mining equipment (US$700).
In terms of jobs, the investment translated into 11,900 new positions, totalizing 177,900 last year.
Gold producer Minera Yanacocha, majority owned by Newmont Mining Corp. (NYSE:NEM), invested US$1.15 billion in 2011, nearly quadruple the prior year, said the ministry. Yanacocha operates South America's largest gold mine and owns the Minas Conga project, Peru's biggest mining development requiring an investment of up to US$4.8 billion.
The added that Xstrata PLC (LON:XTA) invested US$763 million last year in its Las Bambas project and $668 million in its Tintaya project, both located in southern Peru.
Minera Chinalco Peru SA's investments totalled US$750 million in 2011, while Compania Minera Antamina had investments of US$640 million.
Peru is the world's second biggest producer of copper and silver and a major producer of gold, zinc, lead and other minerals.