Peru’s Mining Investment Boom Leaves Political Woes Behind – by Laura Millan Lombrana and John Quigley (Bloomberg News – October 2, 2018)

Peru’s ability to post eight consecutive months of investment growth is calming fears that political woes would derail mining activity in the world’s second-largest producer of copper, zinc and silver.

Mining investment in Peru jumped 6.3 percent in August compared with last year, to $395 million, according to the latest report by the- Energy and Mines Ministry. Investment in development and preparation, the first stages in building a mine, reached $63 million, the highest in more than four years.

“Peru has a natural geological potential that other countries don’t,” said Ricardo Labo, a former deputy mines minister, in an interview. “But this political noise distracts from change; you can’t have ministers and vice-ministers distracted when they should be focused on vital issues like cutting back permitting.”

Pedro Pablo Kuczynski quit as Peru’s president in March on the eve of an impeachment vote and his successor, Martin Vizcarra, has clashed with Congress as he grapples with one of the country’s biggest corruption scandals. Meanwhile, in the last two years, the country has had four mining ministers and local communities have blocked access to several large copper mines.

Still, mining companies seem to be taking it all in stride: Since June, Anglo American Plc., Minsur SA and Aluminum Corp of China Ltd. have all approved the start of large investments.

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