Peru, for better or worse, has been blessed with a wealth of natural resources. For decades, the country has proven to be a profitable location for mining companies to do business, especially considering the country is the worlds second largest producer of copper, zinc and silver. For the most part, foreign mining companies, local workers and the Peruvian economy have all benefited from the sector.
As the number and size of projects have increased, some communities, unfortunately, have been forced to relocate. This has caused serious problems in recent times as the mining industry in Peru continues to boom. One key example of this was in 2015 and 2016 where clashes between local demonstrators and authorities regarding a mining project (Las Bambas), left four men dead, sparking a national outcry and a negative view of foreign participation in the mining industry.
Peruvian Mining Companies and Local Communities Working Alongside One Another
MMG Ltd, the Melbourne-based unit of state-owned China Minmetals Corp that are operating in Peru have developed and implemented a project that for the most part, satisfies all parties in the development of their mining projects. In a regional section of the Andes, MMG Ltd (in accordance with locals and Peruvian authorities) created a new town named ‘ Nueva Fuerabamba’ to accommodate close to 1,600 people who had been displaced due to the companies mining project.
Nueva Fuerabamba boasts paved streets, electricity, plumbing and many luxuries that the members of the town previously did not have access too. MMG acknowledges that the move has been difficult for many that have experienced a culture shock in moving away from their traditional land, however, the majority have benefited from improvements in housing, healthcare, and education – something the old town was lacking.
Future Collaboration Set to Continue
While MMG Ltd recognizes that “..connection to the land, livelihood restoration and simple adaptation to new living conditions remain a challenge”, the quality of life for locals living in Nueva Fuerabamba has improved dramatically, with many seeing their children receive an education that far exceeds that of their parents and grandparents.
Peruvian mining opportunities mean that additional re-location projects are already underway across the mineral-rich nation, with additional jobs in the mining industry and university scholarships being granted to locals. Amongst all the change, other great initiatives to increase opportunities for locals living rural Peru increase.
Responsible Mining in Peru and Latin America
The perfect model has yet to be achieved, however, steps are underway to ensure that the Peruvian economy continues to grow alongside international mining companies – without negatively affecting the locals that will be impacted by such projects. International mining companies are making sure to look after those that will be directly impacted by these projects to ensure a win-win situation for all parties involved. When setting up a successful mining company in Peru, it is important to have the support of the community and to build a sustainable project that benefits all. If not, you can receive backlash that can damage your image as well as your profits. Being a responsible miner in Peru also means getting through the Peruvian mining due diligence process and making sure you are in compliance with all laws that come with building a mine in the country. Although sometimes overlooked, this is the most crucial part of your success when developing your mining project in Peru.
Get professional assistance with Biz Latin Hub
Peru’s diverse mineral resources represent significant commercial opportunities for foreign companies looking to invest overseas. At Biz Latin Hub, our team of multilingual legal specialists is equipped to help you navigate Peru’s mining regulatory framework. With our full suite of market entry and back-office services, we are your single point of contact to successfully expand your company in Peru, or elsewhere in Latin America.
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