A team from the Peruvian Ministry of Energy and Mines, led by Minister Oscar Vera Gargurevich, met with the representatives of 31 mining companies operating in the country to discuss new mechanisms his office is working on to remove roadblocks that hinder or delay mining exploration and development projects.
“Working together with mining companies is crucial to get projects moving and reduce the time it takes to get the necessary permits and authorizations, as it happened with the Toromocho and Retamas expansion projects, the Antamina and Inmaculada replenishment projects, and the Zafranal, San Gabriel, Río Seco Copper Plant, and Yumpag projects, among others,” Vera Gargurevich said at the meeting.
The minister emphasized that his portfolio is improving the rules, regulations, and legal and tax procedures to maintain the dynamism of mining investments in the country.
He also noted that mining investments are on the rise and that June saw a 9.6% increase in investments compared to the previous month. This is the highest figure reported so far in 2023.
According to the government official, the first half of the year saw mining investments reaching $1.8 billion. The hope is that by the end of the year, that figure climbs to $4.7 billion.
Vera Gargurevich also said that his office is taking preventive actions to minimize social conflicts by promoting transparency and constructive dialogue between local communities and mining companies. This, in turn, should guarantee a healthy environment that fosters investments and sustainable development.
“For us, your contribution to the growth and stability of our economy is very important,” he said. “This forces us to make our best effort so that you stay and increase your presence for the benefit of the country and all Peruvians.”
Mining companies representatives were also given the opportunity to give feedback to the ministry. They offered some suggestions for improving certain permitting processes and conducting prior consultations, as well as for addressing illegal mining.
Roque Benavides, president of the board of Minas Buenaventura (NYSE: BVN), Peru’s largest publicly traded precious metals mining company, said that he is seeing better organization and improved interactions between industry and government.
“Mining companies are here to support [the country’s development] but we also need the ministries’ backing to move forward,” Benavides said.
Similarly, Álvaro Barrenechea, Minera Chinalco’s manager of corporate affairs, said that the meeting shows the ministry is open to feedback and to continue improving its processes.
“We see, with great pleasure, that measures are being taken to develop more agile permitting processes and promote mining investments in Peru,” he said.