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Technological Change and the Environmental Imperative

Challenges to the Copper Industry

Edited by Claes Brundenius

Technological Change and the Environmental Imperative considers the extent of the success of polluting industries in becoming cost-efficient whilst acquiring less polluting technologies, in the face of fierce competition. The authors also discuss what has been the impact of privatisation on this process and what lessons have been learnt. Against this backdrop, and drawing on case material from Chile, China, Peru and Russia, the book goes on to assess the latest technological breakthroughs, and their possible future impact on cost efficiency and the environment.
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Chapter 5: From nationalization to re-privatization of the Peruvian copper industry: structural changes and impact on environmental

Claes Brundenius


sustainability Claes Brundenius* 1. INTRODUCTION Peru is the second-largest producer and exporter of non-ferrous metals in Latin America and one of the ten largest in the world. It is the world’s second-largest producer of silver, which is usually obtained as a by-product in copper mining, and it is among the world’s top producers of copper. Peru is the fifth-largest copper producer in the world (and fourth-largest exporter of refined copper). Mine production (copper content) amounted to 722 kilotons (kt) in 2001, and is expected to almost double by 2005 (RMD 2002). Like other mineral producers in the Third World, Peru has been pressured in recent years to take initiatives for a cleaner environment. Peru is an interesting case since the clock has been turned back dramatically in the country during the past quarter-century, from import substitution and nationalizations in the 1970s, to structural adjustment and re-privatization in the 1990s. This chapter discusses these changes, how they have affected structural changes in the Peruvian mining industry, and how the former and new owners have responded to these changes. The chapter focuses on the environmental imperative, the need to achieve a cleaner environment by reducing pollution in the mining industry, primarily from the smelters. Section 2 takes a historical look at the formation of the Peruvian mining industry with an eye especially on a past giant, Cerro de Pasco Corporation. * The author would like to express his great appreciation for valuable input and helpful comments from Carlos Aranda (Southern Peru...

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