Peru’s mining investments, which have driven economic growth during the past decade, could dwindle to almost nothing by 2018 if large scale projects are derailed, an industry group said.
The head of the National Mining, Oil and Energy Society (SNMPE), Carlos Galvez, said that mining investments would likely total $8 billion in 2015, down from $8.7 billion last year and a record $10 billion in 2013.
In 2016 and 2017, annual investments are expected to decline further to $5 billion, but this could be significantly less if the troubled $1.4 billion Tia Maria project doesn’t go forward due to ongoing protests, daily Gestion reported.
Investments could also dwindle if the Minas Conga copper-gold project and the Quellaveco copper deposit remain stalled.
“In 2018, we will go to zero [investments] if Quellaveco doesn’t go forward,” Galvez said.
Quellaveco is majority-owned by Anglo American, which has put off an investment decision on the project as it evaluates whether it is feasible with current copper prices.
Minas Conga, located in the northern Cajamarca region, is held by Newmont Mining and Compania de Minas Buenaventura. Galvez is the CFO of Buenaventura.
Minas Conga was suspended in 2012 due to protests in Cajamarca over its use of water.