In 2019, investment into Peru’s mining industry to the tune of US$6.15 billion, the highest mark since 2015, had created a climate of optimism moving into 2020. However, the Covid-19 wrecking ball and ensuing lockdown sent the sector into disarray. In parallel to this, political turmoil in Peru amplified in 2020, reaching an unexpected climax on November 9, 2020, as President Martín Vizcarra was controversially ousted by Congress.
Despite the unprecedented turbulence, the second half of 2020 brought renewed hope to the mining industry, as operations began to ramp up and companies adjusted to ‘the new normal’. Foundational to this improved outlook was a dramatic resurgence in metals prices, led by gold and silver, but even more crucially for Peru, copper rebounded to its highest point since June 2018, trading over US$3.15/lb on the back of robust Chinese demand.
The pandemic has also accelerated the implementation of new technologies at mine sites, as remote work, automation and mechanization suddenly became crucial in minimizing person-to-person contact and conforming to stricter sanitary protocols. Furthermore, the downturn after the super-cycle in 2011 had forced mining companies to modernize operations and become leaner, leaving them well prepared to weather the Covid storm. As Peru looks to rebound in 2021, its mining sector is set to drive the recovery.
Drawing from over 100 interviews with the leading mining industry executives, Global Business Reports presents its annual guide to the different companies involved in Peru’s mining value chain.