Mining to Peru

Trends and opportunities

The market

Mining accounts for 56 per cent of Peru’s exports and 12 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) (Source: Ministry of Energy and Mines 2015 [MINEM]). Peru is a global mining powerhouse, ranking third in global copper production, second for silver and sixth for gold. 

Ranking Latin America World 
Zinc 1st 3rd
Gold  1st
6th 
Tin  1st
4th 
Lead  1st
4th 
Copper 2nd  3rd
Silver  2nd
2nd
Moli  2nd
4th 

(Source: MINEM 2015)

More than 14 per cent of Peruvian territory is concessioned for mining, with only 1.34 per cent of the area being used for exploration and exploitation. The remaining 12 per cent represents an opportunity for mining investors (Source: MINEM 2015).

A US$58 billion pipeline of major mining investments is slated for 2016-2020. Copper production is expected to double between 2016 and 2020 with the start of operations of: MMG’s Las Bambas, Hudbay’s Costancia, Chinalco’s Toromocho and Freeport McMoran’s Cerro Verde’s Expansion.

Australian mining equipment, technology and services (METS) offering efficient solutions and innovative technology have an advantage as, due to cash cost increases, drop in metal prices and lower ore grade deposits, mining companies operating in Peru are looking at maintaining productivity and competitiveness by reducing costs and becoming more efficient. Complying with recently introduced regulations around safety and environment also represent opportunities for METS in these areas as it has started to demand investment from mostly mid-tier mining companies.

The key to materialising mining investment decisions lays in improving the relationship amongst communities, companies and the government. Other key challenges include skills shortages, energy costs, water availability, infrastructure gaps and in particular, gaining the social licence to operate.

The majority of conflicts stem from the use and availability of water, the fear of environmental pollution and the agreement on the value of lands when the construction of mining projects requires the resettlement of local populations.

Most headquarters for mining companies are located in Lima with mine operations located in the north, centre and south of the Andes. Cajamarca (in the north) and Arequipa (in the south) are two of the most important mining areas, which are located in remote and high altitude ranges (+ 3000 above sea level).

Mining Company Profile

Read a mining company profile on Hochschild Mining (PDF).

Opportunities

Australia has innovative solutions and expertise operating in countries with demanding environmental and safety requirements, remote locations, where energy is expensive and water scarce, all factors at play in Peru. 

Opportunities include:

  • mineral exploration – geophysics, mapping, diamond drilling and tunnelling
  • mining software – resource estimation, modelling, mine design and planning, maintenance and optimisation
  • mining infrastructure
  • innovation and research and development
  • automation and robotics
  • contract mining and engineering services
  • education and training for the industry
  • environmental related products and services – water and sewage treatment plants, effluents analysers and software
  • mine safety training and equipment due to new regulations
  • communities engagement consulting
  • land rehabilitation and mine closure.

Austrade has created a suite of mining profiles to help connect Australian METS providers with overseas mining customers as part of the Mining Customer Profiling initiative. Austrade has identified, interviewed and researched leading mining companies, located in multiple markets, to provide detailed information on their specific operating environments, active projects and company priorities to present procurement opportunities to Australian METS suppliers. The most recent company to be profiled was Hochschild Mining PLC, headquartered in Lima, Peru.

Competitive environment

The Australian presence in the Peruvian mining sector has grown in the last 12 years – it is now the fifth biggest foreign investor in mining in the country. As of May 2016 there are more than 80 Australian companies related to industry, including:

  • 25 with an investment or project (including junior explorers)
  • 35 specialising in METS companies with subsidiary offices
  • 30 with a local distributor
  • 15 which are selling their products and services directly from other markets.

Among them are METS companies such as Orica, Austin Engineering, Ausenco and Worley Parsons; 12 juniors such as Metminco and Latin Resources; and major global players such as BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and MMG.

In September of 2010 the Australian Embassy re-opened in Peru after 24 years, which has contributed significantly to the growth in trade between our countries. 

Links and industry contacts

Government resources:

Institute for Geology and Metallurgy (INGEMMET)
Ministry for Energy and Mines (MINEM)

Industry resources:

National Association of Mining, Petroleum and Energy (SNMPE)
Peruvian Mining Engineers Institute (IIMP)

Market update: Peru (PDF, 125KB)

Please note: This list of websites and resources is not definitive. Inclusion in this list does not imply endorsement by Austrade. The information provided is a guide only. The content is for information and carries no warranty; as such, the addressee must exercise their own discretion in its use. Australia’s anti-bribery laws apply overseas and Austrade will not provide business related services to any party who breaches the law and will report credible evidence of any breach. For further information, please see foreign bribery information and awareness pack.

Contact details

The Australian Trade and Investment Commission – Austrade – contributes to Australia's economic prosperity by helping Australian businesses, education institutions, tourism operators, governments and citizens as they:

  • develop international markets
  • win productive foreign direct investment
  • promote international education
  • strengthen Australia's tourism industry
  • seek consular and passport services.

Working in partnership with Australian state and territory governments, Austrade provides information and advice that can help Australian companies reduce the time, cost and risk of exporting. We also administer the Export Market Development Grant Scheme and offer a range of services to Australian exporters in growth and emerging markets.