Exploration in Peru Watchlist - Takeaways from MINPER 2019 publication

Researched and produced by international business intelligence firm, Global Business Reports, and distributed in collaboration with the PERUMIN convention, the MINPER 2019 publication provides a comprehensive guide to the Peruvian mining sector in Spanish. Below we have extracted key takeaways related to exploration in Peru for all our anglophone readers.

In Peru, we have to develop all the southern corridor and also the northern belt with Michiquillay, Galeno, Conga, the sulphides of Yanacocha, La Granja, Tantahuatay and Cerro Corona. With the north and south together we have the possibility of competing with Chile’s copper production.
— Carlos Gálvez, President of the Organizing Committee for Perumin.


Since the previous Perumin and MinPer edition in 2017, Peru has been rocked by infrastructure destruction from El Niño natural disasters, political corruption incidents and lately anti-mining protests in the south of the country. Having said that, the approval for Anglo American’s Quellaveco copper mine was a huge milestone for the sector and the Moquegua region, a great move for the region’s ex-governor, now the current Peruvian President Vizcarra. Furthermore, 13 of the 26 members of the International Council of Mining and Metals (ICMM) continue to operate in Peru. However, in the last year, the slow processing of permits has rocked the exploration sector in Peru and played a part in a reduction in exploration investments.

What did government and institutions say about exploration?

Francisco Ísmodes, Minister of Energy and Mining, set forth that the Peru Mining Vision 2030 aims to strengthen the capacity of regional and local governments to better manage legal resources, development plans and territorial planning. It will also push forth a more modern and innovative legal framework, including promotion for exploration.

In reaction to the fact exploration investment fell 15% in 2018, Ísmodes highlighted that Peru continues to be a top destination for exploration; with 26 ongoing exploration projects with a total of US$ 239.2 million invested, 10 projects are about to start (US$ 94 million) and 23 projects awaiting approval (US$231.2 million). The aim is to have 53 projects up and running by 2021.

Manuel Fumagalli, president of the National Society of Mining, Oil and Energy (SNMPE) emphasised the geological potential that Peru has, with 10% of the global copper reserves, 5% of gold and 20% of silver and trumping Chile in the Fraser Institute ranking.

Key Mines in Construction

Quellaveco Copper Mine, Anglo American US$ 5.3 billion

Tom McCulley, the general manager of Anglo American Quellaveco, commented that the low cost of energy, strip ratio of 0.8 and the majority of infrastructure construction being included in initial Capex makes it a very attractive project.

Mina Justa Copper Mine, Marcobre US$ 1.6 billion

Marcobre is controlled 60% by Minsur, traditionally a gold and tin producer, and is currently half-way through building this significant copper mine for Peru. Mina Justa will process oxides and sulphides. The oxides will be processed with vat leaching that will lead to an extraction plant for solvents and electrodeposition (SX-EW) to produce high purity cathodes and will be exported via the city of Pisco.

The Exploration Chapter Highlights (p.54-69)

Investment in exploration investment in Peru fell in the last year whilst globally it grew. A key issue facing the exploration sector in Peru is the timing on permits, stalling many juniors’ drill programs and financing efforts. Only 8 of 36 DIA applications have been approved since the new environmental article 42 came in mid-2018, which overall is not helping the government’s plans to attract 8% of the global exploration budgets in the coming years.

Exploration Projects Watchlist

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