Importance of Peru’s mining sector
The mining sector is and has always been very important to the national economy of Peru. The mining tradition dates to the pre-Inca times, and goes on through the Inca, colonial and republican periods. In each of those stages, mining has been one of the major activities in the country’s development. Traditionally it has contributed about half of the country’s export revenues.
Peru is one of the most extensively mineralized countries of the world. It currently plays host to some of the world’s major mining companies, including, Glencore, Freeport-McMoRan, Rio Tinto, Anglo American, MMG, Teck, Chinalco and Barrick. Since the liberalization of the industry in the 1990s local and foreign investment has been deployed to develop major modern mines.
Peru has a well-recognized mineral wealth. It is considered one of the top ten richest mineral countries in the world. It is one of the world’s biggest producers of base and precious metals. Currently, it is the world´s second largest producer of copper and it is also a major producer of gold, silver, zinc, among other minerals. Peru has 8.7% of the world’s copper reserves, 3.7% of its gold, 22.6% of its silver (3% more than last year), 7.6% of zinc, 7.1% of lead and 3% of tin reserves (0.7% more than last year), according to the most recent data published by the US Geological Survey.
Today the mining sector accounts for nearly 10% of the GDP, while mineral export revenues reached USD27.2 billion in 2021, representing 60% of the country's total exports. Copper was the leading export metal, in terms of value, followed by gold, lead, zinc, iron, silver, tin and molybdenum.