Peru mining activity falls in May for third straight month

The Antamina mine in Peru is one of the largest copper-zinc mines in the world. (Image courtesy of Antamina)

Activity in Peru’s mining and hydrocarbons sector plummeted 45.79% in May from a year earlier, the third straight monthly drop, the government said on Wednesday, due to a lockdown to fight the covid-19 pandemic.

Peru, the world’s second largest copper producer, began a strict quarantine in mid-March, while in May the government ordered the gradual restart of some key industries, a move that allowed miners to starting ramping up production.

The national INEI statistics agency said May copper output fell by 42.2%, while that of gold was down 65.1%. Zinc production tumbled 75.7% and silver 65.8%.

Mining is key for Peru because exports from the sector represent 60% of the South American country’s total.

Among other economic activities, the INEI said that the fishing sector fell by 46.99% in May, while cement consumption contracted 65.05%.

(By Marco Aquino and Adam Jourdan; Editing by David Gregorio)

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