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Peru’s energy and mines minister seeks changes to mining framework

September 22, 2021

Newly-elected president of Peru, Pedro Castillo, has said he wants to raise taxes on the countries mining sector to fund social programs and Peru’s energy and mines minister said the government wants to revise the framework for the sector.

Reuters reported that Energy and Mines Minister Ivan Merino, speaking at the Perumin conference organized by mining corporations, said he wants to redraft Peru’s “General Mining Law,” the legal framework that regulates the sector. He also said he will look to change the legislation that sets royalty payments.

So far, Castillo has offered few details on plans for the mining sector since assuming office in July.

Shares of Peruvian miners have fallen on the perceived risk of those changes.

Merino did not specify what changes he would like to see, but did say all new mining projects should have a “neutral effect” on the people, often indigenous communities, who live near Peru's Andean mines.

Any proposed change requires support from Peru's fragmented Congress, which analysts say is more likely to lead to gridlock than reform.

Merino added that Peru has a pipeline worth $50 billion in mining investments and confirmed the government wants to develop a train to transport metals to the coast from the Andes.

He also reiterated that the government wants to see miners focusing on "social profitability," a concept several executives said they endorsed.

Rag Udd, Americas president for BHP Group Ltd, which is part owner of the Antamina Mine in Peru, said Peru faces a “historic opportunity” to benefit from increased demand for copper as industries seek to lower carbon emissions.

“However, this opportunity cannot be taken as certain. It requires competitiveness and stable policies,” Udd added.

 

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