Peru to Raise Copper Output to Over 3 Million Tonnes by 2021

Peru, the world's second-largest copper producer, says it plans to raise its output of the metal by almost 30 percent by 2021.

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Peru plans to raise its total copper output by almost 30 percent by 2021, the country’s energy and mines minister said on Tuesday (September 19).

According to Cayetana Aljovin, Peru plans to increase its copper production to more than 3 million tonnes in the next four years – that’s almost double the amount it produced in 2015.

Last year, Peru beat China to become the second-largest copper producer with output of 2.3 million tonnes. Most of Peru’s copper was sold to the Asian country, which is the world’s top consumer of the red metal.

It seems Peru is already on track to increase its copper production this year. Most recently, the National Confederation of Private Business Associations (Confiep) reported that the country has doubled its copper output over the last few months due to favorable international prices.

Confiep President Roque Benavides said that while mining does not have have control over prices, it can handle production and efficiency costs, as the sector requires good roads, communications and infrastructure.

“All these aspects help Peru benefit from any rise in metal prices [outside the country] since no benefit can be obtained without efficiency,” he added.

Aljovin also said that the Peruvian government is working to bolster investments in mining exploration. Earlier this year, the country reported that investors plan to allocate $28.27 billion to develop the country’s copper mines.

Main copper operations in Peru include Anglo American’s (LSE:AAL) Quellaveco mine and Southern Copper’s (NYSE:SCCO) Tia Maria mine.

Last month, Peru announced it will award rights to develop the Michiquillay mine, which holds an estimated 1.159 billion tonnes of copper. Peruvian precious metals miner Buenaventura (NYSE:BVN) has said it is evaluating making a bid on the project.

On Tuesday, LME copper closed 0.1 percent up, at $6,539 per tonne. Prices have been consolidating around the $6,459 to $6,550 range after reaching a three-year high of nearly $7,000 earlier this month.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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