Lima, May 10 (EFE).- The Peruvian government on Tuesday promised to provide a package of measures to incentivize private investment and facilitate mining exploration efforts in a sector that generates 12 percent of the country’s GDP.
“We’re working on improvements in legislation with the aim of facilitating permits for mining exploration,” said Economy and Finance Minister Oscar Graham at the inauguration of the 14th International Gold, Silver and Copper Symposium in Lima.
He said that in Peru receiving a permit of this kind can take two years, although in other countries it takes only two months.
He also announced the allocation of 10 million soles (about $2.6 million) to assorted institutions for managing resources and protecting the environment so that the necessary funding is available for them to carry out their tasks.
“We at the Economy Ministry are going to deploy a specialized team to unlock investments in the regions with the aim of supporting the regional governments in carrying out projects financed with resources from mining,” he said.
Graham emphasized that the income generated by the sector should improve the wellbeing of the residents of mining zones.
Peru is the world’s No. 2 producer of copper but recently assorted protests by local communities at various points around the country have paralyzed mining production.
Among those protests, developments at the Las Bambas mine have had a particular impact, with authorities managing to oust the demonstrators from the facility on April 27.
“Considering the social conflict, we’re going to approve a package of decentralized investments with special emphasis on the mining zones, which will be executed via the special … entities with the objective of facilitating … public investment in these zones,” he said.
The minister emphasized that mining production has quadrupled in the last 12 years and the sector creates more than 240,000 direct jobs.
He also called for confidence in the government, “which will make every necessary effort to articulate the sectors” and is aware of the challenges and “the complicated situation the country is experiencing.”
Graham concluded with a message of hope, saying that “There’s still much room to grow.”
Meanwhile, the president of the symposium’s organizing committee, Jose Augusto Palma, underlined the great opportunity for Peru as a large copper producer in making an energy transition, given that green and electric vehicle technologies need copper.
“Mining has an ever more significant energy transition role. Peru has to integrate itself more into this chain and improve its sustainability and management,” Augusto Palma said.
But he added that the government must continue to foster private investment, augment its transparency and establish strategies so that the resources generated by the sector are used in the most effective way, along with promoting dialogue in situations of social conflict.
“Mining is an indispensable actor for Peru and its citizens. At this time of political and social tension, these spaces of reflection and dialogue are needed to confront challenges,” he emphasized.