Peru’s Mining Sector to Post Double-Digit Growth in Coming Years – Central Bank President

After posting slow growth during the past five years, Peru’s mining sector is set to see a strong rebound as production increases thanks to the start-up of new projects, according to the president of Peru’s Central Bank, Julio Velarde.

Velarde said that Peru’s mining industry should post average annual growth of 11.2 percent during the next five years, including 2013, according to financial daily Gestion.

The mining sector had expanded on average 2 percent during the previous seven year period, Velarde said during a presentation in Toronto, at the conference of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada.

“Unlike the previous seven years, we’ll see now that mining will grow at double digits,” Velarde said.

Mining development will provide a boost to Peru’s economic growth, he said. The Central Bank is forecasting average economic growth of 6.5 percent over the next four years, and 6.3 percent this year, Velarde said.

In recent years, the output of copper, gold, silver, zinc and other minerals has dropped in Peru, which is a major global producer of those metals. The impact of the lower production wasn’t seen in exports because of the strong surge in metal prices.

However, as metal prices have leveled off and decreased in some cases, Peru is now starting to see higher production. Copper production rose last year thanks to the completion of an expansion project by Antamina, in Ancash. Copper production is expected to continue rising thanks to the startup of other projects, including Xstrata’s Antapaccay mine in province of Espinar in Cusco, and Chinalco’s Toromocho, near Morococha in Junin.

Authorities have said they expect the new projects to more than double Peru’s copper output by 2016.   Mining companies plan to invest $53 billion in Peru this decade.

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