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Peru Mining Pipeline – Construction Projects Update

Peru expects to produce 2.5 Mt of copper in 2021 compared to 2.15 Mt in 2020. Energy and Mines Minister Jaime Gálvez has predicted that production will increase to 3Mt between 2023 and 2025. Peru is expecting investments of around US$5.2bn in mining this year and a little over US$6 billion for 2022. 
The additional production this year will come from Mina Justa, operated by Marcobre, which is due to start operations in the first half of 2021. The Energy and Mines Minister stated recently that in April or May construction of the second stage of the Toromocho expansion will restart soon and that he expects Newmont’s board to approve construction of the Yanacocha Sulfuros gold project in the first half of this year, as it already has all the permits.
Peru already has a project portfolio of 46 projects requiring investment of US$56.2bn. Exploration spending in Peru is expected to increase considering that according to government sources, only 15% of the country’s territory is under concession. 
Project already under construction – 
Mina Justa
The company is just finishing the construction of the US$1.6 billion project which is stated to come online by May. Upon completion of the project, it will consist of two open pit mines and two processing facilities that will use a 6.0 Mtpa copper sulphide concentrator plant and an oxide leaching facility in troughs followed by SXEW (Solvent Extraction and Electrodeposition) of 12.0 Mtpa. Total production will be 100,000 tpa of copper contained in cathodes and concentrates.
The project will involve tank leaching, a complex crushing circuit to feed both the oxide leaching plants and the sulfide concentrator plant, and the use of seawater in the process plant that will be collected near the port of Marcona and pumped 36 km to the site. 


Toromocho Expansion

Construction on the US$1.35bn porphyry copper deposit started in 2018 and commissioning is scheduled to be complete shortly. It is operated by Minera Chinalco and located in Junín region. 

The expansion includes increasing the mine’s concentrator by 45% to 172,000t/d from 117,000t/d. Chinalco will see the value of production reportedly exceed $2 billion with an annual production of up to 300,000 tonnes of fine copper in concentrates. Toromocho represents one of the largest copper reserves in Peru, with an estimated reserve of 1.52 billion tonnes


Anglo American’s US$5.3bn copper mine in Moquegua should start operating in 2022. There are currently 15,000 workers on site. Once in operation, Quellaveco will become one of Peru’s largest mines with production of 330,000t/y of copper is expected in the first five years of operation and an average of 300,000t/y in the first 10 years.

Anglo American has stated that it will be one of most efficient in terms of water usage aiming for the use 0.41m3 of water per ton processed. The mine will be 100% digital and fully autonomous. It will have an integrated operation center that will allow real-time monitoring from the geological process that defines development to mineral shipment at the port.

Santa María Expansion
The US$121mn gold project in La Libertad, operated by Minera Poderosa, is due to start operations in 2023. Construction began in 2019. The goal of expanding the Santa María plant (through an Environmental Impact Study Modification) is to increase its mineral processing capacity from 600 to 1,000 tons per day (tpd) of mineral. To date, the Santa María plant is at 800 tpd of capacity.



Southern Peaks Mining subsidiary Ariana Operaciones Mineras is constructing the US$140 mn project. Last May, the company completed the first expansion stage of the plant, increasing processing capacity from 600t/d to 800t/d. In the second stage, it seeks to expand capacity to 1,000t/d. 

Ariana has 6.2 million tons of mineable mineral reserves, basically copper and zinc, and with an equivalent grade of 2.3% copper. The mine plans to produce around 26,000 metric tons of copper concentrate and 22,000 metric tons of zinc concentrate per year.

As it is an underground mine, designed with the upward cut and fill mining method, the mineral extraction and stripping will be carried out with dump trucks and scoop-type loading equipment, drilling and support equipment, which will be provided by the mining contractor. 

Operations are expected to start in early 2024.

Projects expected to start construction this year include –

Energy and Mines Minister Jaime Gálvez also confirmed that this year construction of seven mining projects will begin, requiring investment of US$3.57bn.

The projects are the Shouxin copper-iron-zinc mine’s expansion, also known as Marcona tailings, the Pampacancha copper pit, the Yanacocha Sulfuros gold project, the Corani polymetallic project, the Inmaculada optimization gold-silver project, the San Gabriel gold project and the Chalcobamba phase I copper project.

Peru is ramping up with investment decisions on many projects being announced frequently. Southern Copper announced last week that it will invest $8 billion in its different projects in the country, including Tía María. Besides Tía María, the Grupo Mexico subsidiary is working on the $2.5 billion Michiquillay and $2 billion Los Chancas projects and on expanding its smelter, a refinery in Ilo and the processing plant at its Cuajone mine in Moquegua so that it can increase production from 85,000 tonnes per day to 120,000.


Peru is already a great market for mining suppliers and will continue to be attractive as new projects are announced and the USD$56 billion project pipeline advances. Over the last 5 years, we have helped many of our clients to enter Peru by providing both legal and commercial support. Many of our clients operate with a “light structure” which has allowed them to have a local presence in the beginning stages keeping their on-going costs minimal while they build up the commercial side. 

For more information on operating in Peru – 

Ax Legal is a legal and business advisory firm that works with foreign companies in Latin America. Our team of legal and commercial advisors have a distinguished track record of helping foreign technology and services companies to grow and operate in Latin America. Over the years, we have worked with starts up, mid-size businesses, and publicly listed companies. The one common factor that connects are clients is that they are leaders in their field, providing innovative technologies and services to the industrial sectors.

To better understand how we can support you in the Region, please contact Cody Mcfarlane at