Copper is a critical resource. In the medium term, the demand for this mineral will grow exponentially. Today, global mining production amounts to 12 million tons. By 2035, demand will probably double.
This raw material is used to manufacture electric cars, panels that capture energy from the sun, etc. There is a decarbonization of the world. That means producing energy without using fossil fuels (oil, gas, etc.) that pollute the environment and heat the earth.
Julian Kettle is Vice President of Metals and Mining at Wood Mackenzie UK. He states that in Peru there is misinformation about the process, and this is reflected in the opposition expressed by communities to the execution of projects. “It must be understood that the energy transition begins and ends with minerals. If there are no metals, there is no transition,” he said.
The manufacturing of electric cars depends on various minerals. Peru currently produces 8 of the 17 minerals critical for the global energy transition. The international consulting firm Quartile Mining maintains that 59% of the world’s new copper mining projects are in Peru, Chile, Ecuador and Argentina. Peru and Chile are the countries with the greatest potential to meet this demand.
They register a project portfolio of 127 billion dollars. However; In Peru there are problems in carrying out mining projects. Factors pointed out by Tek, Glencore, BHP and the Doña Inés de Collahuasi SCM mining company. Conflict is one of them.
When a mining project is announced, expectations are created. If there is no timely intervention by the State, this becomes a social conflict. The paperwork It is another of the factors that hinder mining development, that is, the green light given by the State to start an operation. In that sense, the moderator Roque Benavides ironically: “Now it is easier to do mining in Africa than in Peru.”
In exploration tasks to dig a well in Peru, the ministry of the sector can take a year, the same procedure in Canada does not exceed a month. He president of the Institute of Mining Engineers (IIMP), Abraham Chahuan, He maintains that if the country had launched 23 mining initiatives, that would have generated more than half a million jobs.
Peru has lost more than 700 billion soles for not putting several of its fields into operation, he added. The scarce reserves of fresh water are also a source of dispute with the communities. In that sense, Chile took some important steps. Companies based in northern Chile no longer use fresh water; some of them resort to sea desalination.
In the same way, energy is converted into energy: almost 100% from solar panels. Abraham Chahuan argued that in Peru water should not be a problem. Every year, 23 billion cubic meters of water are produced, 80% of these resources go to the sea. He proposed a synergy for companies to help finance a system of reservoirs that reduce that waste. That would guarantee more water available for various uses.
The government must support
He World Bank coordinator for Latin America, Javier Aguilar, He pointed out that Peru demands a strategy to make extractive activities viable, especially in this context of energy transition where the demand for critical minerals will increase.
The projects can advance, but at this juncture it must be with the government first, not like before, when companies were asked to solve it. There is no solution if agreements or consensus are not reached.
Alia is a professional author and journalist, working at 247 news agency. She writes on various topics from economy news to general interest pieces, providing readers with relevant and informative content. With years of experience, she brings a unique perspective and in-depth analysis to her work.