According to the Ministry of Energy and Mines, this year’s programme of mining investments is stalling because of the suspension of a number of key projects, of which by far the most important is Tía María in Arequipa.
At the beginning of the year, Minem announced that six projects would get under construction this year, representing an investment of US$3.4 billion. These included Lagunas Norte (US$640 million), Coroccohuayco (US$590 million), Tía María (US$1.4 billion), Santa María (US$110 million) and Corani (US$585 million).
Lagunas Norte has been abandoned by Barrick Gold; Coroccohayco, owned by Glecore, is the subject of complaints by local communities in Cuzco over the lack of any prior consultation; and Tía María is a battleground between local agricultural interests and Southern Peru Copper for the ear of the state. The governor of Arequipa, Elmer Cáceres, opposes the project. A decision needs to be made by August if the current Environmental Impact Assessment is to stand. Prime Minister Salvador del Solar is due to head up a Dialogue Table (mesa de diálogo) in the region in the coming week. A 24-hour local strike took place on 20 June.
The other two (Santa María and Corani) appear to be going ahead. Santa María in La Libertad is being developed by Compañía Minera Poderosa. Corani in Puno is in the hands of Canada’s Bear Creek, the company that was prevented from pursuing Santa Ana (also in Puno) in 2011.