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Balancing risk and reward in South America

Pedro Castillo of the Peru Libre party is currently leading in the polls against rival Keiko Fujimori of the Fuerza Popular party. Credit: Wikimedia Commons (DSan/Congreso de la República del Perú).

The Northern Miner’s second-quarter Global Mining Symposium in mid-May was a great success, with 1,432 delegates tuning in from 86 countries. In this issue we cover the conference’s keynote speakers, Jake Klein of Evolution Mining and David Garofalo of Gold Royalty.

Over the last year and a half, Klein has expanded the Australian gold miner’s footprint overseas, with two large acquisitions in Canada — the Red Lake mine complex in Ontario last year and Battle North Gold earlier this year. (Battle North’s Bateman gold project is within trucking distance of Evolution’s Red Lake mine.)

Garofalo has been hard at work too, switching gears from executive roles at pure play mining companies into the royalty and streaming space. He took Gold Royalty public in March raising $90 million and the company has 18 net smelter return royalties covering 12 projects in the Americas.

Speaking of the Americas, this issue’s special focus is on South America, a continent that offers sweet mineral riches but sometimes serves them up with a sour side-dish of political risk. Santiago-based freelance contributor Tom Azzopardi weighs in on Peru’s upcoming presidential elections on June 6. Front-runners Keiko Fujimori and Pedro Castillo couldn’t be any more different. Keiko, the daughter of Peru’s former authoritarian president Alberto Fujimori, who is now in jail on human rights abuses and graft, has run for president twice and failed (2011 and 2016). Castillo, a hard-left candidate, union activist and former school teacher from the provinces, has been ahead of her in recent polls.  

Fujimori is described as a centre-right politician, who also happens to be the subject of a criminal investigation herself (money-laundering charges she denies). She has vowed to crackdown on crime, pardon her father, and is supportive of the extractive industries.