Peru is re-positioning themselves to catapult in front of China to take back second place in the title race for the largest Copper extraction nation in the world. Second only to Chile who produce a whopping 5.8 million tonnes of Copper annually, Peru is set to ramp up their annual Copper output capabilities by approximately double from 1.4 million tonnes in 2013, to 2.8 million tonnes before the beginning of 2016.
The expected green lights on five core Peruvian Copper mining projects underpin this massive growth aspirations and development of the Copper industry in Peru. These projects include; the US$4.6 billion expansion venture of the Cerro Verde’s which is expected to finish up at the beginning of 2016, Southern Copper’s controversial US$1 billion expansion of the Tia Maria mine which had been on hold since 2011 due to community concern for the inadequately proposed water usage and pollution management strategies has resolved these issues through a revisal of environmental management strategies which are expected to gain local approval soon, the US$3.5 billion Toromocho mine which opened last December, US$900 million expansion of Toquepala mine, and the Chinese owned and led US$5.86 billion Las Bambas mine which is expected to shift it’s Copper output upwards from 1.3 million tonnes in 2013 to 2.8 million tonnes before 2016.
Since China is the worlds leading consumer of Copper, Peru exports approximately one quarter of their total Copper extracted to China alone. However recent events such as slowing Chinese housing growth and the Qing Dao collateral scandal have encouraged a cooling of Copper demand in China, forcing a slump in global Copper prices. Provided these current events do not have lasting effects over the next eighteen months, Peruvian Copper production levels can be expected to continue to close the gap between the Copper extraction market leaders in Chile.
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Zenn B.//SMC Editor