Strong copper price revives Peru’s mining mojo, minister says

LIMA, May 3 (Reuters) – Peru’s dented mining mojo, hit by years of political unrest in the Andean country, is being buoyed by strong copper prices and bullish expectations that they will rise further, helping to lure back investor interest, the minister said of the country’s Mining Department said Friday.

“The price of copper is a big attraction,” Romulo Mucho told Reuters in an interview at his office, a reference to prices that reached a two-year peak of $10,208 a tonne this week, close to the record high of $10,845 in March. 2022.

Goldman Sachs earlier in the day raised its year-end price target to $12,000 a tonne, up from $10,000 previously, citing the copper market’s trajectory toward scarcity and expectations of a wider shortage of the key metal needed for electrification.

Mucho said the trend helped ease the caution of mining companies in the country, the world’s No. 1. 2 exporter that has struggled to meet a challenge from rival producer Congo as inward mining investment has declined.

The minister added that in recent months he had met with executives from Newmont, Teck Resources, Hudbay Minerals, Antofagasta Minerals and others, who had expressed interest in new ventures and operating mines.

“Most CEOs I spoke to asked what projects are out there and how to get involved,” Mucho said, blaming political uncertainty under former governments for hurting the sector. Peru has had six presidents in the past six years.

“Confidence is recovering.”

Peru expects to produce about 3 million tons of copper this year, up from 2.75 million last year, a target Mucho stuck to, although he added that production from protest-hit Las Bambas, owned by China’s MMG Ltd , was the key to achieving the goal. (Reporting by Marco Aquino; Editing by Adam Jourdan and Marguerita Choy)