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Minister says Peru’s copper production to jump 17% next year

Teck and Newmont is said to be interested in buying Glencore’s giant Las Bambas copper project

Peru’s mining output will jump 10% over the next year due, primarily driven by a surge in copper production.

A a number of new mining projects are coming on stream in 2014 including Southern Copper Corp’s Tía Maria and Anglo-American’s Quellaveco mine in the south of the country.

In addition, Newmont’s controversial $4.8 billion Conga project in the Cajamarca region is currently the subject of talks between the government and protesting local communities and the $5.9 billion Las Bambas project is scheduled to enter production towards the end of next year.

Glencore Xstrata is in the final stages of disposing  of Las Bambas which is being built to produce 450,000 tonnes of copper a year in its first five years and 300,000 tonne a year thereafter.

According to Peru this Week the South American nation’s Energy and Mines Minister, Jorge Merino, Peru’s mining project portfolio totals more than $54 billion:

“We are working hard to start these projects. By 2014 we expect a 17% increase in cooper production while gold and silver production is expected to rise over 10%.”

Peru’s mining industry is plagued by illegal gold extraction and in 2011 an estimated $3 billion of illegal gold was exported and as much as 20% of all gold mined in Peru may be outside of official channels.