We all know that Peru, a country with rich traditions and enormous biodiversity, sits on a huge "throne of gold". This expression, attributed long ago to the Italian scholar Antonio Raimondi, is today reaffirmed for the whole world. The Peru Mining Business virtual conference took place on Thursday, April 30 and was organized by Grupo Digamma together with the magazine Rumbo Minero. It involved experts from Peru, Spain and the United States who debated on the topic: “How can the mining sector and the national economy be reactivated?.”
Among those present was lawyer and economist José Antonio Montenegro, a communications expert and host of CNN's weekly GloboEconomía program. In reference to Peru's economic potential, Montenegro stressed that the country's future rests, in the medium and long term, on mining. "Peru has an excellent opportunity to capitalize on its status as one of the most important mining countries by prioritizing key elements for the future, such as copper, silver and lithium, among others," said the speaker.
As is commonly known, in 2018, almost 10% of GDP and more than half of the exports in our country were the result of mining. Last year alone, copper exports accounted for more than half of all mining exports (51%), which amounted to $8.583 million. These are profitable revenues that can translate into more roads, hospitals, schools and hotel infrastructure in various regions of Peru.
The future is assured
Montenegro also added that Peru has yet to show "its enormous potential in a variety of areas, such as its natural and cultural resources."
Regarding the economic risk involved in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, Montenegro said that Peru will enter a new period, thanks to new technologies, renewable energies and a greater emphasis on health, among other variables.
Following this line of thought, he remarked, "mining does not have to be seen as it has been for years, [since] its future will be linked to ecological, clean and more technological development. For example, advances in robotics will signify a drastic change in mining over the next few years."
In another part of his presentation, he stressed that if there is one field in which Peru can set a benchmark for innovation, it is in mining.
The promise is in the east
Finally, regarding the future of the international market in the aftermath of the pandemic, the expert indicated that it is important for Peru to maintain its excellent relationship with China, since everything indicates that they will overcome the crisis before other countries and will continue to import metals from around the world.
China imports about 17 million tons of copper concentrate annually. Its main suppliers are Chile and Peru.
Sources: Minem/ Gestión/ Rumbo minero/BBC