Peru’s President Sees Chinese Interest in Refining Investments – by Ryan Dube (Wall Street Journal – September 13, 2016)

Leader is in Beijing on his first foreign trip since taking office in July

LIMA, Peru—Peru’s President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski on Tuesday said Chinese companies were interested in investing in refineries and smelters in the Andean nation, which could increase exports and create new jobs.

“They have told us that they are absolutely open to consider industrializing part of the minerals that they produce in Peru with smelters and refineries because they want to reduce contamination,” Mr. Kuczynski told local radio station RPP Noticias.

Mr. Kuczynski, who arrived in Beijing this week in his first foreign trip since taking office July 28, has promised to increase exports by building new smelters and refineries to process mineral concentrates into higher-value metals.

China is already a major investor in Peru’s mining sector. Chinese firms recently started production at two large copper mines in Peru, helping to boost economic growth. Copper, zinc and other minerals account for about half of Peru’s exports.

Mr. Kuczynski’s proposal to add more value to mining exports includes restarting operations at Peru’s La Oroya smelter, which all but shut down since falling into bankruptcy in 2009.

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