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Strong copper price reviving Peru's mining mojo, Minister says

6th May 2024

By: Reuters

  

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LIMA - Peru's dented mining mojo, hit by years of political turmoil in the Andean country, is being buoyed by strong copper prices and a bullish outlook they will rise further, helping lure back investor interest, the country's Mining Minister said on Friday.

"The price of copper is a great attraction," Romulo Mucho, told Reuters in an interview at his office, a reference to prices that hit two-year peaks of $10 208 a metric ton this week, close to the record high of $10 845 in March 2022.

Goldman Sachs earlier in the day hiked its year-end price target to $12 000 per ton, from $10 000 previously, citing the copper market's path into scarcity and expectations of a larger deficit of the key metal needed for electrification.

Mucho said that the trend was helping salve mining companies' caution in the country, the world's no. 2 exporter that has struggled to fend off a challenge from rival producer Congo as incoming mining investment has dwindled.

The minister added he had met with executives from Newmont, Teck Resources, Hudbay Minerals, Antofagasta Minerals and others in recent months, who had shown interest in new ventures and operational mines.

"Most of the CEOs I talked to asked what projects there are and how they can get involved," Mucho said, blaming political uncertainty under former governments for hurting the sector. Peru has had half a dozen presidents in the last six years.

"Confidence is being recovered."

Peru expects to produce some three-million tons of copper this year, up from 2.75-million last year, a goal Mucho stuck by, though he added production from protest-hit Las Bambas, owned by China's MMG, was key to hitting the target.

Edited by Reuters

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