Peru Approves Environmental Permit for New Chinese-owned Iron Mine

Map - Arequipa

Arequipa region, bordered on the coast by Ica and Moquegua.

The Mines and Energy Ministry has approved the environmental permit for a US$1.5 billion Chinese-owned iron ore mine, newspaper Gestion reported Friday.

Jinzhao Mining Peru’s Pampa del Pongo mine is located in the southern province of Caraveli in Arequipa region.

The ministry also said it approved the environmental permit for a port that will export Pampa del Pongo’s iron ore, requiring an additional investment of US$340 million.

Peru is a major global producer of copper, gold, silver and zinc, but it currently only has one iron ore mine in operation. There are a number of new mine projects expected to start production in 2015 and 2016, which will boost production in Peru’s mining industry.

The ministry said that Pampa del Pongo will provide 3,294 jobs during the construction phase and about 1,256 jobs once it is in operation.

The mineral port will require 450 people to work on it during construction, and about 50 during operation.

The report said that Pampa del Pongo is to produce 22.5 million tonnes of iron ore a year, with a 33-year mine life.

China has become a major player in Peru’s mining sector. Since 1992, Chinese-owned firm Shougang Hierro Peru has been operating Peru’s only iron ore mine, until now, at Marcona just north of Caravelí in the Ica region, while newer arrivals include Chinalco, which operates the large Toromocho copper project in the Central Andes of Junin, and the Chinese MMG consortium is developing Las Bambas in the Apurimac highlands.  The state China Minmetals, senior partner in MMG, also has the Galeno project in Cajamarca, next to Newmont-Yanacocha’s troubled Conga project.

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