Challenges to the Copper Industry
Edited by Claes Brundenius
Chapter 5: From nationalization to re-privatization of the Peruvian copper industry: structural changes and impact on environmental
5. From nationalization to re-privatization of the Peruvian copper industry: structural changes and impact on environmental 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...
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