Draft decree allows miners in Peru to exceed daily installed capacity by 10%

Antamina, Peru’s largest copper-zinc mine. (Reference image by Antamina.)

The Peruvian Ministry of Energy and Mines (Minem) presented a draft Supreme Decree to allow miners to increase their daily authorized production by up to 10% without applying for new permits.

Currently, excess production can reach up to 5% of the total allowed and if miners go over that limit, they have to pay a validation fee.

The decree was presented through Ministerial Resolution No. 125-2024-MINEM/DM, which modifies Article 3 of Supreme Decree No. 030-2016-EM.

“Concession holders can produce up to an additional 10% of the authorized installed daily mineral production capacity without having to request changes to the processing limits established in the concession permit based on existing mining regulations,” the draft states. “Mining activity has been seriously affected by the global economic crisis, the slowdown in production at mine sites and the loss of production generated by social conflicts, so it is technically viable and opportune to increase installed capacity by up to 10%.”

The decree also notes that increased capacity cannot be the result of building additional infrastructure, modifications to equipment and machinery operation parameters, and process improvements, among other considerations, already detailed in existing mining regulations.

The document, however, does not mention anything related to greater water usage at mine sites resulting from increased production.