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Peruvian Mining: Projects to start construction in 2021

Energy and Mining Minister, Miguel Incháustegui, said in a talk at the American-Peruvian Chamber of Commerce, that 5 projects with a total investment of US$3.39bn are due to start in July 2021.

San Gabriel

San Gabriel is an underground gold and silver mining project discovered by Buenaventura. The gold project in Moquegua region needs an estimated US$431mn. San Gabriel is expected to process some 3,000t/d of ore.

Currently, the company is optimizing the San Gabriel project, which is why it submitted a Sustainable Technical Report (ITS) to the Senace environmental certification service for sustainable investments.

The company intends to optimize the process plant by improving metallurgical recovery, making more efficient use of its equipment and infrastructure, and relocating the area for thickening and filtering tailings.

It also contemplates modifying the deposits of sterile material and filtered tailings and reconfiguring auxiliary facilities, among other objectives.

In Peru, an ITS is presented when the modifications introduced to a project with environmental approval already granted are not expected to cause a significant environmental impact.

The company plans to use solar energy. “In our new mine we are working to start it with solar energy and, attached to that, have a much more electric mine, both in the operation itself and in passenger transport,” said Ignacio Agramunt, manager of Innovation at Buenaventura, during a webinar on mining innovation in Peru.

Yanacocha Sulfides Expansion

Minera Yanacocha S.R.L. operates an open pit gold mine located 45 km north of the city of Cajamarca. Minera Yanacocha, a JV controlled by US-based Newmont and including Buenaventura and Sumitomo Corporation started activities in 1993.

The new expansion requires an investment of US$2.1bn. The Sulfides project aims to extend operations at Yanacocha, formerly one of the region’s biggest gold mines.

The project involves expanding open pit and underground operations, producing gold and copper from sulfide and oxide material.

It has the potential to extend operations to 2041, producing about 500,000oz/y gold equivalent through 2030 and 6.5Moz over the life of mine.

Without the expansion, production is forecast to decline before ending in 2028.


The silver project in Puno needs an estimated US$586mn and is operated by Bear Creek Mining.

The 100% owned Corani silver-lead-zinc property is located in the district of Corani, province of Carabaya, in the department of Puno in southern Peru.

According to the revised study, a 22,500t/d mill would produce 12Moz/y silver for the first six years and 8Moz/y over an 18-year mine-life at all-in sustaining costs of US$5/oz. The plan is based on prices of US$18/oz silver, US$0.95/lb lead and US$1.10/lb zinc.

Bear Creek has drilled over 93,000m at Corani, which has proven and probable reserves of 139Mt of 50.3g/t silver, 0.9% lead and 0.59% zinc containing 225Moz silver, 2.75Blb (1.25Mt) lead and 1.8Blb zinc; and measured and indicated resources of 96.7Mt of 27g/t silver, 0.38% lead and 0.26% zinc containing 87Moz silver, 812Mlb lead and 550Mlb zinc.

Corani has received all key permits required to commence construction including an approved ESIA, Accreditation of Water Availability and Construction Permits. The company is currently working on financing the project.

Inmaculada Optimization

The gold project is in Ayacucho region and investment is estimated at US$136mn. Inmaculada is a 20,000 hectare two-third gold and one-third silver mine consisting of 40 mining concessions located in the Ayacucho Department in southern Peru

The project is at the feasibility stage and could start operations in 2021. Thanks to the program, the company extended the life of Inmaculada by 10 years after the discovery of 17 veins.

Hochschild Mining has extended the life of its largest gold-silver mine in Peru after completing an exploration program, CEO Ignacio Bustamante said.

A 74,900m drilling program last year extended the life of the US$340mn Inmaculada mine in Ayacucho region to 10 years, Bustamante said without revealing the original figure. As a result of the discovery of 17 new veins, the company added 1.3Moz gold equivalent to inferred resources.

“It all depends on plant capacity and new ore sorting technology,” Bustamante said at an event in Lima. “We can select the ore better and focus on a higher-grade product.”

Marcona Tailings

Chinese-owned Shougang Hierro Perú, the country’s lone iron ore producer, brought online a US$1.5bn expansion, part of a series of investments in Peru’s iron ore industry in 2018. The project is located in San Juan de Marcona district, Nazca province, in Peru’s Ica department, approximately 540km south of Lima.

In 2016 the company completed the first stage of the project, including primary and secondary crushers, three ore pads and 25km of conveyor belts. The mine, which also produces copper and zinc, has proven and probable reserves for 2.180Bt of 55% iron ore.

The expansion project increased Marcona’s iron ore production capacity in 2Mt/y once new deposits go into operation.

The new expansion of the tailings will cost the company US$140mn with an expected start date in 2021.

Already in Construction:

The four projects already under construction are Mina Justa, Quellaveco, the Toromocho expansion (all copper) and the Santa María expansion (gold), which total US$8.36bn in investment and works should finish by 2022.

Harris Gomez Group is a Common Law firm, with offices in Santiago, Bogotá, and Sydney. We also have legal teams in Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, and Argentina. Over the last 19 years, our team of English speaking Lawyers and Attorneys have been supporting foreign companies with their growth in Latin America. Many of our clients are technology companies, service providers and engineering companies that focus on the mining, energy and infrastructure markets. 

To better understand how we can support your management team in the Region, please contact Cody Mcfarlane at cmm@hgomezgroup.com